Written by: PP on 07/03/2011 04:26:43

Condemned used to be part of the 80s hardcore punk movement spearheaded by Black Flag among others before taking a long hiatus and returning last month with a brand new album called "Condemned2Death", a reference to the original name of the bunch. It's a record that displays a stubborn unwillingness to accept that the music scene has evolved and moved on long since the days of Black Flag, packing fourteen tracks of hardcore punk in just over thirty minutes of space.

So why should you care? They have drawn comparisons to bands like All Out War and especially Integrity, given the strong crossover vibe and nuances of thrash metal still present in their sound. It's all very grim and brooding, unpolished and uncompromising, thus living up to the standards of original hardcore punk, so in that sense Condemned are successful in their revivalist sound. But the problem is that most of the world has moved on and the songs don't fulfil either of the two criteria to be successful in this style of music. One, the clear and fiery passion that fueled the Black Flag albums isn't there. Or if it is, the band doesn't do a good job in capturing it for the record. When you fail in that category, you better hope your songs are at least catchy in their own right.

While "Anti-Social"'s riffs sound like "Suffer"-era Bad Religion, Condemned overall aren't a very catchy band. As a result, the songs on "Condemned2Death" sound dated and unsurprising, missing an edge which would put them properly on the hardcore map in 2011. It's not bad, per say, just not much better than average either.


Download: Anti-Social, Aggressive System
For the fans of: Black Flag, All Out War, Integrity
Listen: Myspace

Release date 11.02.2011
Nuclear Blast

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