A good surplus of hardcore bands from the 80’s and 90’s continue to thrive into today’s musical era, including such legends as Hatebreed
, Agnostic Front
, and Converge
. Among this crowd is Phoenix
, Arizona quintet Overcome
, which has quite a background. Members of inactive bands Indwelling and Abashai coalesced together to form a Christian hardcore act in 1994
, and they released a sleuth of records over the years under famed labels such as Facedown Records and Solid State Records, as well as underwent a rather great number of lineup changes. However, the project came to a halt in 2001 for the members to seek out their own interests and “to do ‘life.’” However, in 2011, the band took form again to bring their hardcore heaviness back to the music scene, making their comeback with their fourth full-length “The Great Campaign of Sabotage
” and joining the Facedown roster once again. Afterwards, the band’s seven-tracked EP named “No Reserves. No Retreats. No Regrets” was unleashed in early 2013 to deliver a rather quick but brutal dose of metallic hardcore.
In this EP, the musicianship is decent, despite its drawbacks. The screamed vocals, while still sounding a tad forced, teem with some good aggression and makes it easy to tell the singer is putting his all into the work. The drums are also played more solidly than before, although they do sound a little sloppy in their beats at instances peppered throughout the album. Out
of all of the elements in terms of musicianship, however, the area where “No Reserves. No Retreats. No Regrets.” truly showcases its prowess is the guitar work. They boast some tight, potent melodies and robust riffs through the course of this small record, and they really stand out in this album as its greatest instrumental highlight. The sound production, this time done by Winds Of Plague
guitarist Andrew Glover, is also another very positive point for the release. Unlike in the band’s preceding release, where the production sounded too thin and lacked explosiveness, here it sounds more full-bodied without compromising the rawness of the band’s old school hardcore onslaught. As for the musicianship, while it’s certainly not spot-on spectacular, it does have plenty of good points and has displayed some improvements over the band’s previous works.
“No Reserves. No Retreats. No Regrets.” is composed of what Overcome
has always played in their lengthy timeline: Raw, metallic hardcore with mosh-worthy breakdowns and potent melodies throughout. If you are in search of something inventive or fresh brought to the hardcore regime, then this album may not interest you. However, that being said, despite its generic aspect, the music is overall quite solid. Aggression
and rawness are what define this album well, as this album sees the usage of much more energy than in the band’s older works, serving as another improvement factor for the group. What really makes this EP decently enjoyable is this energy put into the music, and that vitality certainly helps in stirring a crowd into an all-out mosh pit. Unfortunately, there are a few times throughout this album where the music tends to get a tad sloppy and unfocused in the midst of the band’s aggression, but thankfully, the rest of the album is nicely concentrated and flowing in terms of structure. All in all, while this EP suffers from not being capable of really standing out of the rest of the old-school hardcore crowd, it does have a good amount of energy and ferocity to keep listeners invested.
Lyrically, the majority of the songs follow the same agenda as other Christian metal and hardcore bands with preachy and empowering lines. However, there are actually a few instances where the lyrics take a turn into deeper and more emotional territory, involving internal conflict and depravation, especially in the last two tracks “Animate the Lifeless
” and “Depredation
of the Cherished,” respectively dwelling among internal struggle and corruption in some hopeful light and targetting prostitution. They are very emotional and quite powerful and deep in the way they are written, and with the vocals projecting these lines aggressively, that makes the formula all the more impactful. Overall, although the majority of the lyrics aren’t anything new, some parts of them truly stick out in terms of both meaning and emotion.
“No Reserves. No Retreats. No Regrets.” is a decent release, but it isn’t without its flaws. The vocals do seem a tad forced, especially at the high pitch screams, and the drums sound a little slippery at times, the music tends to get a little clunky in terms of structure, and the album overall offers nothing innovative or very intriguing in terms of its sound. However, despite these shortcomings, this EP is nonetheless enjoyable. The guitar work is stellar, the production is bold and well done, the hardcore is performed with some nice aggression and energy, and the lyrics are somewhat heartfelt to read, despite them following some of the typical Christian empowerment framework sometimes. All in all, it is a decent listen and a nice improvement over the band’s older releases, especially over the last release “The Great Campaign of Sabotage
,” which was less than breathtaking compared to the other albums, thus proving this EP to be a small step forward. Loyal fans of Overcome
will certainly take pleasure in listening to this album, as well as those in search of old-school metallic hardcore. Regardless of the flaws, there is still plenty of potential underlying the hardcore music that Overcome
has to offer.
Originally posted on: http://metaljerky.blogspot.com/