Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Record Review: World in Arms - "Strong at Heart" (self-released)

Genre: Melodic Metalcore
Country: Providence, US
Label: - (self released) 

Metalcore can be both a good and a bad thing; and in this case it is a VERY good thing. World in Arms plays emotive, modern metallic hardcore that the same time hits harder than the proverbial ten ton hammer. This is no joke; these guys took the lead from all good things in US metalcore and went to create a masterpiece of pent up emotions, accumulated sadness and blind rage.

The ep (7 tracks in total) starts of with an heavy youth crew-ish intro and the phrase "you did this to your self" manically shouted with gang vocals. This is the type of shit that shows me right away the record will fucking rule. The driving guitars contrast the gnarly vocals, the latter (along with the lyric subjects) clearly placing this band in hardcore and not so much in metal. The vocals - and I don't say this easily - are some of the best I've heard lately in this genre. There is so much passion and anger in them, but also a heavy dose of melancholy and despair. We're talking really thick, raspy vocals with a unique identity, and obviously totally removed from the Terror clones you hear every day. Dude also attacks with some ear destroying death metal vocals evey now and then, and puts the cherry on the cake with some classic (in HC) spoken words over the music.

World in Arms continues to wreck shit all trhough the album, but there also is the correct amount of diversity to keep things interesting. There are some clever and super bouncy beatdown parts that luckily don't last forever, and thus serve their purpose boosting the songs and making them sound more groovy. Then again, there are some cool clean parts that are not emo by any means, but do add a bit of atmosphere to the whole outcome. These parts make the ep sound really modern and give it a strange avant garde (dare I say) aura. But let us not kid ourselves; it's the guitars that shape most of the things around here, with the aggressive yet melodic approach which brings to mind stuff like Misery Signals or even With Honor. This is good shit!

I just want to sum this up by saying that even though metalcore is looked down by some as the flavor of the day, let us not dismiss the bands who are doing things with heart and do have something to offer. Music styles, values and aesthetics come and go as fashions in hardcore, but there are always those who are true -- and this you can suss right away. World in Arms is just like that, and they hit so fucking hard. You won't forget them easily so get into them.

Fotis TxYxS

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