There are a few musical trends that have been overly prevalent in the last few years that are thankfully starting to run their course. Boy bands all but have their casket closed, nü-metal and rap rock have two feet firmly planted in their burial plot, and bands whosmushtheirbandname like that are inching ever closer to the graveyard. Alove For Enemies, however, are attempting to squeak past the shelf life on the trend by releasing The Harvest by way of Facedown Records.
Straight metallic hardcore is what you'll find on this disc, with lead singer Erich Barto sounding remarkably like ex-Skycamefalling singer Chris Tzompanakis with his mid-range screamed vocals. Barto's strong voice carries above the chunky guitars and thick drum fills, and things never really get too hectic for the band to keep in tune with each other. The only breaks in vocals come for a spoken word part here and there, token as that does sound this day and age. However, it's with Barto that a lot of the potential problems that could be had with this disc comes out. I don't want to say the lyrics are overtly Christian, but it's damn sure noticeable.
This is my truth, this is our victory / The blood will flow down from the sky, angels reaping all of you, faithful or not / The moon will turn to fire, the sky to ash, sickles reaping all of us, faithful or not / And we will wait here, swords drawn, ready to fight for you / It's time to rise and fight for life, it's time to rise and fight for Christ.The combination of apocalyptic imagery and religious overtones are probably sure to turn some people off to the music. The rest of the lyrics, where there's no religious context, read much like Throwdown's liner notes, with various testaments to fighting, unifying, and similar themes. Metallic hardcore sound aside, this is where Alove For Enemies deviates in style from a band like Skycamefalling, who had a very intelligent, poetic way about their lyrics. So if you're able to steer clear of an opinion on the band's religious affiliation, the punishing vocals could very well be right up your alley.
For better or worse, the lyrics very well might be the only noteworthy item in the album, as instrumentally this is very standard fare. Thick, chugging guitars with some melodic undertones and sporadic breakdowns to change things up a bit, tempo-wise. For what's here, it's at least executed well, although through the eleven songs I can't tell you that any one sticks out above the next. If metallic hardcore is your thing, you probably have ten dollars and a space on your shelf for this album.
Everyone else can start hoping this is the next trend to meet its death.