Do you ever buy the new album from a band you like and after a couple listens you just think, “This is about what I expected”? Most of the time this means the album is good; just more songs of the sound you’ve become accustomed to. This happened to me when I got Champion’s full-length. I liked it, but it didn’t really give me anything different from what I had known of them in the past.
Before I dig myself into a hole here, let me clarify that this is absolutely NOT the case for Allegiance’s second full-length, Desperation. I’ve always liked Allegiance; don’t get me wrong on that, but my anticipation level for this album was somewhat low. I knew the songs would be solid and full of the hardcore niche Allegiance has made for themselves, but I was not expecting something of this magnitude.
Desperation opens with the hard-hitting “Another Wave,” and right away you can tell you’re in for a treat. A single guitar becomes overpowered by a thick bass line, and as all the instruments come in you can feel what I can only describe as raw power. Everything sounds heavier on this record, not just with the recording quality but the riffs don’t have that melodic edge that I remember Allegiance having in the past. That edge is replaced by a Cro-Mags slash Anthrax slash old No Warning sound that really owns the record. Don’t worry, you still have the Allegiance sound you love (see “Out of My Blood” and “Just Martyr Me”), but even on those songs you get these original, off-beat parts added in that make every song feel new.
If this isn’t enough for you, the lyrics and vocals have to win you over. I’ve heard people be a little questionable on John Eightclip’s high-pitched voice, but he really pulls it off impeccably on this record. His vocals have a slight distortion that gives it an edge unlike anything I’ve heard recently. And he brings his voice down into some slow growls that add to the skyrocketing anger of the lyrics on this record. Every song is pissed to the point of simply feeling bleak and unsatisfied with so many things, most importantly the hardcore scene. I can just picture a bunch of fifteen-year-olds singing along to the chant, “Fuck you kid, you don’t see what I see.” The lyrics are beyond what most hardcore kids could understand, like in “Summer Relief,” where he reminisces about the better, earlier times of hardcore.
This is looking to be my favorite hardcore record of 2007. This was nothing that I was expecting, and it pretty much blew me away. It’s raw, angry, and heavy; everything a solid hardcore record should be. Desperation is coming from the guys who have been in hardcore for ten plus years and still love it as much as they did when they were in high school. Although filled with loathing for some of the hardcore scene nowadays and nostalgia for better times lost, they can’t let go of the music they’ve given so much to. This is the album that Allegiance was meant to write.
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Posted June 19, 2007, 11:10 p.m.
Allegiance have posted another track from their upcoming full-length, Desperation, online. You can stream the song "Taking it Back" here. Desperation is due out July 3rd via Rivalry Records.
Posted June 19, 2007, 11:01 p.m.
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Posted May 12, 2007, 7:16 p.m.
A new song from Allegiance titled "Out of My Blood" has been made available online here. The song is taken from the band's upcoming sophomore full-length, Desperation, due out ...
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