Strife

Witness A Rebirth

Written by: PP on 28/01/2013 23:32:40

Hardcore kids take note. Here's PP fully endorsing a band in the genre that essentially does not deviate from the stereotypical hardcore sound at all. Down-tuned, two-steppable rhythms? Check. Power messages and song titles like "Show No Mercy", "No Apologies", "Face Your Failures"? Uh-huh. Guest appearances from the biggest stars within testosterone-driven music? Scott Vogel of terror is guesting on "Look Away", Billy Graziadei (Biohazard) can be found on "Never Look Back", and Soulfly's Marc Rizzo lends his services on "In This Defiance". Slightly monotonous, aggression-oriented in-your-face vocal style? You betcha. Basically the karate mosher's wet dream of an album on paper.

But what separates Strife from the thousands of clone bands following this exact style is two decades worth of experience. Mostly active during the 90s, the band's Victory Records albums are considered classics within the genre. "Witness A Rebirth" is their first album since 2001, but eleven years' worth of inactivity hasn't slowed the band down one bit. They are still uncompromising in their message, devilishly groovy in their riffs, and guarantee for enough fist pumping to justify skipping a day's gym session after just one active listening session. And though they essentially play stereotypical hardcore, they compensate with intensity, urgency, and immediacy in quantities that make most of their peers pale in comparison. The harsh bark, the low-end distortion of the guitars, and the messages together pack one evil punch that's difficult to argue against even as a skeptic of these sorts of bands normally.

But as good as "Witness A Rebirth" is, it is still an album that's designed to be played live. The testosterone drive, the power of the message on a crowd of like-minded individuals, the energy of a good hardcore show...that's just incredibly difficult to capture on a studio album. It's such a large part of the hardcore experience that without it, the songs just don't feel as good as they do in a live environment. That's always going to be a problem with this genre, and as long as you're able to accept that, then it doesn't get much better than Strife on "Witness A Rebirth" on a studio album.

Download: Torn Apart, Show No Mercy, No Apologies
For the fans of: Terror, Earth Crisis, Lionheart, Trapped Under Ice, Madball
Listen: Facebook

Release date 06.11.2012
6131 Records

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