Without a doubt, As Tradition Dies Slowly is easily the most metal record that Revelation ever put out (at least so far); and the idea of them even touching this album and even Morning Again as a whole with a ten foot pole really just blew me away back in the day (when this came out), and, at the time, the album was released in the midst of a kind of Revelation renaissance where it definitely drew me back into what the label was doing after stepping away for quite a while (say like 1991 through about 1998, I totally did not pay attention to Revelation save for a release here or there).
Listening to the album again brings a flood of excitement as the opening of “Stones” throws me back to 1998 all over again with its heavy as hell but still tuneful attack (seriously, when the vocals scream “Stones / Have / been thrown” and the music blasts through, I want to punch holes in the walls), and when the band hits on the part where the vocalist is speaking, “Love Is Never Wrong” into the screaming “…a natural part of life…”, the sense is there that as far as social issues are concerned, Morning Again was far and away above their peers in the metallic vegan straight edge scene on point as being socially aware. As Traditions Die Slowly has a bunch of excellent songs that show off the musicians’ abilities to craft hard and heavy songs that still have some strong melodic elements , and even though these guys do seem to overuse the breakdown at times, the songs still benefit from them as breaks from the heavy riffing; but songs like “Murder You Call War” (which changes tempos often and throws some monster riffs and some huge hooks besides being one of the strongest direct anti war songs of the time and check out that crushing heavy part that builds and bursts out of the soft bridge), the title track’s great rhythmic riffing punctuated by some well integrated drumming really drives that song home while “Uncivil Hands” has such great parts that also make me want to punch holes in the walls (“My statement of life in a dying world” is such a great lyric).
The various messages that Morning Again spoke out on in their lyrics certainly have helped them at least stay topically (musically, the band is definitely from a certain time period even though they blow a great deal of metalcore and related bands away) relevant today (roughly 14 years after the album came out) and is either a testament to their progressive ideas and forward thinking or the sad state that many of the same issues then are still affecting us all today; the concept alone of a band that covers so many issues directly (human rights, anti war, gay rights, corrupt politicians, morality and how its taught, are all heady issues) is still encouraging that such muck raking is still possible, and considering that many of these issues still do affect us today, the album name is completely fitting, As Tradition Dies Slowly indeed.
7.5 / 10
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