HURTLOCKER’s “Embrace The Fall” is a bit hard to pin down. For some reason, I went into the album expecting Metalcore, which the album is assuredly not. Sure, there are Hardcore elements, but there’s also quite a bit more. All in all, “Embrace The Fall” is a mix of groove-heavy Death Metal, Hardcore, modern Thrash, and tough-guy mannerisms, very similar to THROWDOWN, or a more visceral PANTERA.
Right off the bat let me say that HURTLOCKER doesn’t fit my tastes. There is simply way too much chest-pounding machismo bull going on for my taste, which is exactly the thing that has kept me far away from this type of Metal in the past. The songs are relatively simple and straightforward, as is the instrumentation. The bass is buried in the mix, and the drumming is of the norm with ample double-bass, some blasts here and there, and the occasional nice fill. I was a bit surprised when guitar solos popped up, as they were of ear pleasing quality and really helped break-up the otherwise continuous beat down. The solo in “At Last” was especially notable as it reminds a bit of Trey Azagthoth’s rather unworldly tones.
Now the big problem with “Embrace The Fall” is that it’s all been done before. Of course that can be said for most albums out there if you’ve been listening for long enough, but I don’t even listen to this type of Metal and I can still say that I’ve heard it all before. “Embrace The Fall” is an album that will find itself comfortably at home with the mosh-pit crowd who are simply looking for music to go nuts to, but it won’t likely fit in anywhere else. HURTLOCKER simply hasn’t done enough to separate itself from the overpopulated scene it resides in.
(Online September 25, 2007)