The Northwest is breathing new life into its hardcore scene. They've got a lot of great bands right now - Go it Alone, Shook Ones, The Answer, Sinking Ships, Betrayed, Daggermouth, and so on. And while those bands lean towards the traditional side of hardcore, there are others that aim for something a bit more metal. Seattle's Lahar deliver just that with their debut full-length, Provide & Conquer.
From the get-go of "Just Self of Centered," Lahar serves up beefy riffs with the occasional Euro-thrash flair courtesy of Jesse O'Donnell and Shane Wilson. But the key ingredient, providing the backbone to Lahar's music, is Ken Dirkes drumming. He furiously pounds at his kit making use of a significant amount of double-bass as well as big cymbal crashes, all while providing a steady beat. Further fuel is added to the fire by means of Tory O'Donnell's vicious screams and yells. The resulting concoction is hardcore-tinged metal (not the other way around) reminiscent of All Out War and God Forbid.
And while the vast majority of the tracks that comprise Provide & Conquer lean in the metal direction, the hardcore vibe is underlying throughout. Several tracks - "Countless Sins" for example - feature aggressive breakdowns that could have just as easily found their way onto a Hatebreed record. The track "Children of War" contains a great sing-along chorus - definitely not something you'd find on an At the Gates album.
The eleven tracks that make up Provide & Conquer may not be the greatest thing to hit the hardcore/metal world, but they make for an enjoyable listening experience. I would like to see how these songs transfer over in a live setting as I have this sneaking suspicious that their live show is twice as intense as the music contained here. And that's how music is supposed to be experienced anyways, in a live setting.
7.0 / 10
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