As We Fight

Meet Your Maker

Written by: AP on 22/05/2009 23:37:51

I often overlook As We Fight when I make statements about the Danish metalcore scene (can you even call it that with so few bands?) but that's probably because despite the quality and consistency of their material they've somehow always managed to fall under the shadow of their more prominent contemporary peers (I speak of Hatesphere here in particular, even though that band obviously specialises in a very different kind of metal). And that's a fucking shame because if there's one band in this country that writes riffs to remember, it's As We Fight. In fact, one of the most memorable guitar leads to have come out the fretboards of a Danish band (at least for me) is to be found in "Bringing It All Together" from this band's debut album, "Black Nails And Bloody Wrists".

Having said that, As We Fight has, and has always had a thing for the extreme end of metalcore; that place where music has a tendency to fall victim to its own virtue. Not quite deathcore, but too extreme still to attract aspirant emokids who'd like to sing along to a eunuch's chorus. Because while there is no doubt that every song on "Meet Your Maker" is good, the album lacks the edge it takes to remember them on an individual level. As a result the listener will feel completely satisfied and sorely disappointed all at once; satisfied, because the album sounds exactly as it should with no significant pitfalls, as we have come to expect from this band; and disappointed because there is so much untapped potential. Just listen to "Buried in Lies" (curiously similar in style to Himsa's "Wolfchild") and "Pull Me Asunder": both are excellent tracks, just that it's hard to recall why once you move beyond the immediate one minute of rejoicing those killer riffs.

Since the band's previous album, "Midnight Tornado", the band has replaced both of its vocalists, and I dare say fortunately. That album saw the band descend into a generic screamo kind of place, whereas the new boys (Esse and Jewer) take As We Fight back to the band's metallic roots. It all sounds very Swedish, riffs-wise and in the vocal department. Anyway, digressions aside, the dual vocalist setup works surprisingly well here; so well in fact, that the two of them become one and one wonders if either one of them couldn't have handled the vocals on his own. Useless to point that out as a negative though, because in the end it makes absolutely no difference how many vocalists a band contains as long as their co-operation is dynamic.

So what to make of this monster? Well, if you preferred As We Fight's earlier work you will find "Meet Your Maker" to your taste, and possibly also if the typical breakdown/obligatory clean chorus system tires you because there's none of that here. But if you're looking for something to sing around a cozy campfire, you may find the uncompromising intensity of this album too distressing. And I, the scribe you can always trust on to dispense some hatred towards the metalcore cult, have this to say about it: "Meet Your Maker" is above average when it comes to the genre, but save for the odd two songs and exciting riffs it has almost no lasting value. As such it is a very Danish album and a very good one at that, but in an international setting it stands very little chance of success.


Download: Buried in Lies, Pull Me Asunder

For the fans of: Hatesphere, Himsa, Maroon, Neaera, Vira

Listen: Myspace

Release date 20.04.2009

Dockyard 1

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