Death Before Dishonor - Better Ways to Die (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Death Before Dishonor

Better Ways to Die (2009)

Bridge Nine

It's hard to believe that Death Before Dishonor is ten releases and almost as many years into its career. Harder still to believe that the band has improved by such leaps and bounds just over the last three albums.

It's not so much an indictment of the band as it is acknowledgement that hardcore bands have short lifespans and don't often show as much release-to-release improvement as some of Boston's finest have.

Whatever the reason, this ferocious five-piece is back with Better Ways to Die and they've brought with them some new wrinkles to appease old fans and newcomers alike. The vocals are as aggressive and in-your-face as ever, but it's the other areas of songwriting that DB4D have shown the most improvement in.

"Peace and Quiet" opens the album with some dizzying chord progressions and "Fuck This Year" benefits from rapidly changing riffs and a pulsating bassline while "Boys in Blue" is more standard hardcore fare. Don't confuse 'standard' for 'boring,' though, as these songs are anything but. The unwavering intensity of the instrumentation and the impassioned delivery of the vocals keep this relatively short effort -- 11 songs clock in at under 25 minutes -- interesting throughout.

And the way they keep it interesting throughout is a solid variance in tempos and vocal deliveries. The aforementioned "Peace and Quiet" is a brash and fiery salvo that barely tops a minute where as "So Far from Home" is a slower, more deliberate expression of rage that keeps the riffs churning. The one constant is an ever burning anger -- a visceral, captivating anger that commands full attention while the riffs swirl and punctuate the undercurrent.

Plain and simple -- Death Before Dishonor is a band more than worthy of any hardcore fan's attention.