This quartet hails from Belgium and obviously has better taste in music than a good portion of the people I cross paths with each day. Whether it is through random conversation, looking at what others are purchasing at records stores, or just flipping through channels on the radio, I keep an ear open to what music people are into. And frankly, the people of today have shitty taste in music. Rise and Fall piece together ten tracks of aggressive metallic hardcore drawing influence from Ringworm, Killing Time, among other notables on their latest album Hellmouth.
Rise and Fall kicks off the album with the track 'When They Come Down,' a two and a half minute cut of blistering guitars, pounding drums, throaty screams, and pissed off lyrics very much in the vein of the mid-90's Cleveland hardcore. One song in and I am in awe. It's been a while since I've heard a straight-up hardcore band that has floored me, but Rise and Fall have accomplished just that.
The band plugs away with 'Bottom Feeder,' whose chorus is a great for sing-alongs, and 'Hellmouth,' an excellent song to light up the dance floor to. On the interlude-esque 'As the City Burns,' we are treated to melodic group vocals reciting one lyric repeatedly. The music is definitely a step in a different direction for the band, it kind of reminds me of the slower songs found on Converge's You Fail Me.
After that brief recess, the band jumps right back into things with 'Where Ghosts Roam.' Man this song is so Integrity, it is almost uncanny. Everything from Bjorn's vocals, which are nearly identical to Dwid's, to the guest guitar solo by Josh Fury scream of the legendary hardcore outfit. It's obvious that Integrity was a huge influence on them, but hell, you don't hear me complaining. Things keep moving along at a good clip with three more new tunes, all of which follow the same formula found thus far through the record. At the end, we are treated with two older songs from the band's split with Paint the Town Red. I especially enjoyed the album closer, 'Running out of Time,' which reminded me a bit of Shockwave.
Bjorn's lyrics definitely lean towards the dark and cryptic subject matters. Take this lyrical sample from 'Hellmouth' - 'We let our greed control our lives / it's plain to see that we're bleeding ourselves dry.' Try this upbeat slice from 'Where Ghosts Roam' - 'You lit the match now watch it burn / watch your world go down in flames / watch it all burn down / watch the vultures all around / they'll fake a smile and rob your blind.'
The artwork and layout is pretty slick. It's fairly obvious that it is Dave Quiggle's work as he has quite the distinguishable style. The design compliments the music perfectly. The production of the record is excellent; it has a great feel to it. The two older songs have a little rougher sound, but it's something that I can overlook when the songs are of such great quality.
Some may write this band off as nothing more than an Integrity 'tribute.' Well I don't really see what is wrong with that, and I suppose it's true to an extent. But who cares? Hellmouth shreds and if you enjoy traditional hardcore music, I highly recommend purchasing it.
8.5 / 10
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