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Hardcore Highlights 2014 – Part 1

So here we go again – the third instalment of this series, focusing on some of the best, (to me), hardcore releases down the years. This time – 2014.

2014 was a very good year for hardcore. There were so many releases I could have included, but for the sake of brevity I have limited it to ten, and split the article into two parts; keeping it to this few was hard enough in itself!

What delights do we have for you this time?

As We Draw – Mirages

As We Draw

We start with this French band, another from the fabulous Throatruiner Records roster, which sees the band take the leap from noisy hardcore to a more interesting post-hardcore/metal one, although they still have plenty of angular heaviness and angry intensity to their sound. ‘Mirages’ is infused with atmosphere and introspection though, balancing against the band’s more aggressive tendencies, producing an impressive collection of tracks that it wouldn’t be completely erroneous to describe as progressive hardcore. Whatever you call it, this is a dark journey into challenging soundscapes and is a snapshot of a band developing themselves and embracing their potential. Take note.

Baptists – Bloodmines

Baptists

Baptists are a Canadian band that combine violent hardcore, abrasive punk and just a hint of noise rock. Drenched in feedback and with raw vocals, this is a dark album that does slow and fast equally well. Heavy riffs dominate the proceedings, while insidious melodies seem to crawl out of the distortion, catching you unawares. ‘Bloodmines’ is a cruel, harsh mistress; it’s as if it has taken a punchy, energetic, vibrant sound and dragged it to a swamp and drowned it, only to resurrect it once more to do the bidding of its new owner.

Enabler – La Fin Absolue du Monde

Enabler

The first time I listened to this album I got The Shivers. Oh yes. All over. ‘La Fin Absolue du Monde’ is a shockingly strong blend of aggression, dynamics and raging melodics, all tempered by a burning energy and songs that are so catchy you can get infected by them. Working equally well as stand-alone tracks or holistically as a full album, Enabler walk the walk and talk the talk in true hardcore fashion, ripping up pits and burning down speakers with ease. Phew. Listening to this makes me sweat, in a very good way.

Every Time I Die – From Parts Unknown

ETID

What can you really say about Every Time I Die? If you’re even vaguely into hardcore music then you probably know of this notorious band. Always ones to play by their own rules, (and frequently break them), Every Time I Die have been a force to be reckoned with in the hardcore scene ever since their début EP ‘The Burial Plot Bidding War’ was unleashed on an unsuspecting world back in 2000. They arrived with a crash, and ever since their individual take on hardcore has earned them many fans, yours truly very much included. The band manage to effortlessly walk that oh so fine line between chaos and melody with ease, and ‘From Parts Unknown’ is yet another sterling example of Every Time I Die being nothing but themselves, and boy is it good.

Fucking Invincible – It’ll Get Worse Before It Gets Better

Fucking Invincible

Give this record its 15 minutes and it’ll probably give you a broken nose back in return. Fucking Invincible are as savage as it gets, and ‘It’ll Get Worse Before It Gets Better’ rips, tears and blasts its way through its short playing time, stabbing, bludgeoning and maiming as it goes. It seems fitting to end Part 1 of this article on such a furiously nasty note. All I’ll say is this; Fucking Invincible are intense. Play loud.

We shall recommence in Part 2…

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