Deathcycle brings hardcore laden with throwback influence and metal finishes. Theyre young, angry lads who have, within the past month, announced their breakup before I even got around to Prelude to Tyranny.
The first thing to strike me upon listening is Ron Grimaldis voice. Its especially powerful and carries well above the abrasive music. Normally, he is singing over the music at a pace that makes you wonder if he ever needs to stop and breathe, but when he does slow things down (just a little bit) it sort of reminds me of Tom Araya. Not Arayas Angel of Death screams, mind you, but theres still something that make me think of him with footstomping, shaved head, tough guy look instead of the long, curly metal locks.
Ill be the first to admit that Im nowhere near as versed in this style of music as I should be, but I hear Deathcycle as a mix of NYHC and Modern Life Is War. There is a modern feel, but it nods to the past in the way they use slogany and repetitive choruses and a general us vs. them theme. While they hold true to the basic NYHC sound, there are flourishes of other sounds, with a lot of metallic riffs to spice up the old breakdowns. When it comes to this kind of music for me, its not so much if its original, but if its done better than the majority of the bands out there. In the case of Deathcycle, Im going to say theyre doing it right.
On opener Angels from Hell, (maybe thats where my Slayer reference came from) the band starts out with two minutes of stomping hardcore with catchy hooks and a driving beat. When they hit the last thirty seconds they change directions to breakdowns and chants. Is It Too Late? and Blueprints for Enslavement are a couple of the more NYHC sounding songs, while Another Song and The Future I See mix in metal riffs and tempos, but without any solo wankery. There is just enough metal to add variance to an older style, and giving Deathcycle their own identity.
On first listen, the lyrics feel simplified - more a rally cry than an argument - but reading the liner notes has changed my mind. Its still short and to the point, but Deathcycle are looking deeper than the surface, stating in An Accomplice to Murder, The blood wont wash away by feigning ignorance / When you dont question injustice you are an accomplice / I know there are no easy answers. My main gripe is the repetition, as most of the choruses consist of two-line stanzas repeated a dozen times throughout the two/three minute songs. It gets old fast, especially if the subject happens to be Democrats/Republicans and party lines. However, I love that Pawns of the New American Century features a rhyme with Neocons. While there is depth to their politics, and several websites are listed in the liner notes, the repetitive, slogan-heavy choruses give their songs a preachy feel.
Prelude to a Tyranny, now their swan song, shows a band that wears their heart of their sleeve and isnt afraid to show dissent toward a government they dont trust. This is the kind of music you want to see in a basement, where the pile-ons will continue from the first note until the band has passed out from heat exhaustion.
7.0 / 10
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