Circle Back are a fairly recent metallic sounding hardcore band from the States creating grim and dark sounding music that follows in the footsteps of bands such as Ringworm and Integrity. Stretching the metal sound as far as possible and still maintaining the hardcore edge to their music, Circle Back bring something a little different to the table in Promise to Pay. It has everything you want to hear in a debut release, it’s heavy and compelling and has some bone crushing riffs and some pummelling drum rhythms. Obviously with this style of music comes the remorseful themes and despairing lyrical content in which the vocals fit perfectly with. There are a lot of structured chord sequences and chugging break parts to keep everyone happy and takes a page out of the 90’s style.
The introduction track Intro/Circle Back kicks off the record with a short charming instrumental piece which of course you know is not going to remain charming, and soon stomps in with a proper head banger and brings the energy, building up to the next track. Promise to Pay is catchy with some metal sounding riffs and is as raw as songs can come. The vocals sound raspy and evil, belting out their relentless, angry lyrics. There is a nice breakdown part with some gang vocals that makes you want to mosh. The Path is very down tuned and follows a very slow and steady song pattern but continues the mosh as one would say. It’s a really gritty and dirty sounding record that may not necessarily appeal to everyone but if this style is your thing then it will keep you glued to the speakers until the end.
This record maintains the metallic sound throughout and this is especially met on the track Suffer or Survive where there are various harmonics appearing throughout the trudging riffs and the coarse vocals are also backed up with gang style chanting to enhance the sound. Although the production and quality of sound is not always present, these are a bunch of honest dudes releasing a quality record and playing music that they want to play. If you are down with that, then you should definitely take the time to check out this release. This is for fans of hardcore, metalcore and metal of all sounds. I personally didn’t take to it at first but after a few listens it did grab me and I feel they did a solid job!
Choke X Chain are a new Straight Edge hardcore band from Florida (USA) that are absolutely smashing it right now! They have just released their 2014 demo which takes a substantial influence from the youth crew mid-80’s sound but with a modern twist. This demo contains 5 tracks and is a fairly short listen but still manages to cover everything you need to hear in a debut release. There are a variety of instrumental styles going on with some incredible guitar riffs, fast paced rhythms and some mad heavy down tuned sections for all your moshing needs. Audrey’s vocals destroy it too which are harsh, aggressive and have a solid impact, not to mention that they tie in perfectly with this style of hardcore.
I was pleasantly surprised at how heavy some of the parts in the tracks are and is perfect moshing material. The record starts off with the track Hell is Other People which is a short heavy instrumental building up to the opening track Ouroboros which cuts to a frenzy of guitar riffs and shouty vocals. This track is very catchy and entertaining with no pissing around. Choke X Chain keep it real with their straight edge messages and coverage of real life topics and challenges. Some parts of the recording sound a tad rough, but that’s more than expected from a debut demo and to be fair, I really like this sort of sound with this style of hardcore. As well as the fast tempo in every track they also like to slow things down now and again especially in Innocence Defence and Parasite with some down tuned breakdowns and metalcore sounding chugs.
Brother’s Keeper is another decent track and displays the bands instrumental qualities with catchy bass lines and classic punk, hardcore style riffs that have a youth crew sound to it. This is soon quick to change halfway through to a 90’s metalcore sound with more harmonics and a much heavier tone. It’s a pretty smooth mix up and has a positive impact. This continues into Innocence Defense which is my favourite track of the release and the metallic breakdown towards the end is just class. The lyrics on this record are very influential and gives each track a lot of power behind it. If you’re looking for a new band to check out then check out Choke X Chain, I promise you won’t be disappointed. Check em' out on the links below.