Written by: PP on 13/06/2012 06:34:15

California's Lionheart have been quickly rising up the hardcore ranks ever since the release of their sophomore album "Built On Struggle", which basically perfected their rather generic approach from their 2007 debut "The Will To Survive" into something a little more varied, and subsequently more enjoyable. But if that album caught the attention of Terror and Hatebreed fans worldwide, then "Undisputed" will almost certainly be the breakthrough album for the band that'll put Lionheart on the hardcore map once and for all, not least because it puts most other moshcore / serious fucking business-core bands to shame through a small, but significant inclusion of subtle melody within their otherwise down-tuned and tough-guy hardcore oriented riffing.

Already from the opening moments of the title track "Undisputed", which serves as a short introductory track, it is clear that Lionheart mean business - angry business. Tough guy stance is assumed instantly, and as soon as the first highlight track "Lifer" arrives 53 seconds later, you've probably already made up your mind whether or not they are the kind of band you want to check out further, which is a shame, because "Lifer" is the kind of track that has the potential to change people's minds about this kind of music. If you think Terror is too monotonous, then this track's inspirational (or cliché, depending on which side of the fence you are standing on) lyricism should take your attention away from the camouflage shorts-friendly hardcore riffs and onto the vocals, where their eclectic vocalist shouts "One life, one pain, one struggle for the rest of my days" in a gang-shouted chorus that's sure to be a killer experience life.

Later, "By Any Means" offers yet another solid piece of beatdown hardcore, where melody is but an afterthought in a concentrated cacophony of fists and feet flying in your direction if you happen to be situated in the middle of a pit at one of their shows. Yet, even here, the band showcase drive, energy and passion juxtaposed against real songwriting skill, the latter of which is often missing from bands like Hoods, et al. Granted, it's not at all original considering this is the same stuff Madball was comprised of already in the early 90s, but the urgency of their expression counts and makes it worthwhile listen in the saturated and sometimes stale hardcore scene. If there's one hardcore record you check out in 2012, make sure it's Lionheart's "Undisputed", which surpasses most of their colleagues' recent output despite its flaws in originality and the occasional mishap into genericore.

Download: Lifer, By Any Means, Better Days
For the fans of: Hatebreed, Terror, First Blood, Hoods, Madball
Listen: Facebook

Release date 24.04.2012
Mediaskare Records

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