Back When - Celebration Of Alceste (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Back When

Celebration Of Alceste (2003)

Imagine It

I'd never heard of this band before getting this EP, and now I'm not sure why. Celebration Of Alceste is a surprisingly original release. There are tons of bands who mix chaotic hardcore and metal, but Back When has a more intense feel than some of the other bands that seem to be going through the motions. Although Back When wouldn't be out of place on the Robotic Empire roster, they show hints of a band developing its own sound on this disc.

There are times on this disc where the band flirts with grindcore, and then there are times where they inject a bit of melody into their music. The band really is all over the place, particularly on the second track "I Could See Terminator 2 Really Happening," which starts off with some spastic Daughters-like riffing and features a nice breakdown at the midpoint, followed by a somewhat jazzy interlude. Back When's songs are held together by their more straightforward hardcore and grind influences, so unlike say Daughters or the Oktober Skyline, they aren't hopping around without warning, and that makes these songs a bit more cohesive, and probably more easily digestible. That's not to say that this isn't a challenging or abrasive record though; the guitarists are always putting their abilities to good use, and the dual vocal attack really gives the band a full sound.

Mathy hardcore bands seem to be a dime a dozen these days, but on this EP Back When show that they have the potential to stand out from their peers. Although this record will probably appeal to fans of the aforementioned bands, it should interest fans of straightforward grind. Celebration Of Alceste is a pretty short listen, with only six tracks, and none of them being what I'd call epic; still, Back When makes their mark in a very short amount of time.