Seekers of the Truth - 2 Decades Shunning Masks (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Seekers of the Truth

2 Decades Shunning Masks (2009)

Disagree / Customcore

I've done a fair bit of research on the new-ish record from veteran French hardcore act Seekers of the Truth, and for the life of me I still can't figure out if 2 Decades Shunning Masks has some extra goods tacked on or if this really is a 20-track, 55-minute hardcore album. You can go the distance with certain hardcore styles, but the one that Seekers of the Truth do, which is moshy and slightly metallic by way of older NYHC acts like early Sick of It All, Cro-Mags, Leeway or a less ridiculous 25 Ta Life (sure, it's possible), does not lend well to such epic lengths. So we'll give them the benefit of the doubt and call Masks a pretty solid, if not overly long slab of the stuff.

Among the metallic breakdown for opener "Inside Mr. Nice Guy," hard-charging guitars in "Tribute" and yowled vocals in "Backdraft," it's definitely not bad stuff. Can it be a little bit goofy? Sure, a tad. "1988" sounds like a heavier take on '90s H2O, and the way the vocalist shouts the live-style opening is kind of funny, but not too over the top--"Let's go, this is a new song!"

"When I Shun the Mask" adds a suddenly and decidedly upbeat feel at the halfway mark, and it's a nice game-changer to refresh things a bit, because, like mentioned, this album is looong for what it is. By the time track 14, "Pull the Trigger," rolls around, I'm starting to check out--but its bridge, with some wanky riffing and distorted spoken-word thing, is an interesting detour.

It's funny that describing this album feels a lot more curt than its length should demand, but the quality-over-quantity approach to this review feels appropriate in light of this album's mild offering of the former and abundance of the latter.