Now Soldiers - Sick World (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Now Soldiers

Sick World (2006)


It's becoming increasingly more difficult for up-and-coming melodic hardcore bands to separate themselves from the pack. For every Bane and With Honor, there's hundreds of bands that come and go without so much of a notice from anyone outside their immediate area. Complicating the situation further is that many bands who try to extend themselves outside the confines of the genre are put off as just riding a gimmick.

Now Soldiers take the straight-and-narrow, opting to play the very familiar style that I'm sure everyone has heard time and time again. In their defense though, they do play that style better than many others who attempt it.

As with any band of this style, it all has to start with a strong vocalist. That vocalist is the anchor and the means of movement behind Now Soldiers, and luckily for all involved, he is the strongest link. While keeping a good amount of variety in his inflection and his delivery, Tyler Toth's sincere demeanor and lyrical approach work well in the band's favor, and the gang vocals are strong and full. Unlike some bands who become to reliant on those gang vocals, though, Now Soldiers use them as well-timed accents to the already hard-hitting tracks.

"Description of Man" has a very Heart Means Everything-era With Honor vibe, and the driving chord progressions keep you on your toes. The rhythms are excellent, and never become stale or tiresome. Granted, it is only a five-song EP clocking in at 15 minutes, but keeping that continuity and keeping that general sense of urgency is very important with the style being played. "The Oldest Game" changes things up again, the riffs slow and heavy, the drums pounding in exact time with the vocals, and those vocals feeling angrier and more full of feeling than anywhere else on this EP. Suffice to say, it's a rather powerful song, and a great benchmark in which to close the album.

Potential will only take a band so far, but I feel like this is one that could really run with it and become something special. It's a rare thing for a band's head to be sticking far above the rest, but give them some time, and Now Soldiers could be breathing only the finest of air.