Embrace Today - We Are The Enemy (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Embrace Today

We Are The Enemy (2005)


Deathwish is having a damn good year.

Certainly, the recent release of Modern Life Is War's flat-out spectacular Witness will earn them a place on many year-end lists, and the label has quickly become a dependable outlet for solid hardcore releases. Whether the label will take the crown of hardcore previously held in the 90's by Victory still remains to be seen, but with so many previously reliable labels diluting their canon of hardcore acts in favour of watered down hit-or-miss indie rock masquerading as post-hardcore, it seems quite likely.

Also worthy of respect is the label's capable ability to maintain a roster of solid hardcore acts that sound almost entirely unlike each other; while Modern Life Is War boasts a seething teeth-gritted melancholy, Embrace Today aims in an entirely different direction, flaunting over-the-top hardcore roots and nearly unrestrained aggression.

The strength of the band comes from their ability to avoid playing to the "breakdown-and-squeal" metalcore crowd, choosing instead to stick a melodic bridge in the place where an obvious breakdown would appear. Instead of gang vocals, the band chooses to add softly sung female vocals to "Diamonds Are Forever," and these types of creative touches occur throughout the album.

On top of the solid songwriting, the band is more than capable musically, with effortless tempo changes and a vocalist that manages to sound harsh without sounding inhuman. While the band is certainly metal-influenced, they wisely choose to keep the reliance on single palm-muted notes to a minimum, and almost entirely avoid the majority of that genre's crutches.

A thoroughly enjoyable and solid release.