Upon hearing the opening riff of “My Time”, the first real song on this album, you’d think you’re in for another ARCH ENEMY clone Swedish Melodic Death album. Quite soon it becomes apparent that this album goes in quite a different direction, notably being that of straightforward NYC ‘tough-guy’ Hardcore, complete with uplifting messages, moral lessons and all the other ethical clichés associated with this genre.
Although this album is essentially a Hardcore album, the Melodic Death riffs pop up all over the place and turn out to be the most definitive aspect of this bands sound. The vocals are quite varied, with the three main styles being a high-pitched Metalcore scream, a throatier Hardcore yell and an annoying half rap/half clean yell, similar to that used by the MOST PRECIOUS BLOOD vocalist. The album also incorporates some clean vocals in the form of backing melodies, some chants and some nice low-end Death Growls. Both varieties of screamed vox work nicely and add a frantic edge to the music, but when the clean vocals are used (most often in order to deliver some kind of tacky stay-in-school-live-life-to-its-fullest message) the music looses a lot of its edge.
To the credit of DECIMATE they manage to not fall into the trap of relying overly on breakdowns, like many of their genre-mates tend to. Breakdowns are used sparingly and when they are done it is usually at a time that works to enhance the music. Another thing these guys do is to incorporate extra elements into their music that you wouldn’t normally find on a Hardcore album, like melodic Thrash solos, piano intros and occasional Industrial touches.
This album doesn’t tread any new territory within the realms of Hardcore or Metal, yet it’s an enjoyable listen and could have been even better if the annoying clean Hardcore clean vocals were left aside and if they abandoned the cheesy ‘sincere’ moral messages. If you like bands along the lines of AGNOSTIC FRONT and MOST PRECIOUS BLOOD, then this album is a very worthy addition to your collection. (Online May 14, 2006)