2 out of 5
Produced by: Kurt Ballou (Deceiver), Rise and Fall (Sinking Sin)
I’m guessing Rise and Fall fans will tell me this is how it’s supposed to sound, but while the intensity of these tracks never dim, and the musicianship is sharp, the Kurt Ballou / Rise-and-Fall-mimicking-Kurt-Ballou recording mushes all the edges of the music into an overmastered blast of distortion, making it hard to appreciate that intensity. And while one might blame this approach as a way of covering up flaws, the frustration is that the opposite seems to be the case: RaF were just going for a blown out sound, and it covers up how awesome the guitar work can be, although perhaps vocalist Bjorn Dossche also doesn’t leave much room for that with his single-pitched howl (and pretty mundane ‘people are shit’ lyrics).
Sinking Sin, a cover of a Congress song, gains some ground by going instrumental for its first half, and it’s a bit of a slower jam, at that. That works. But again, once the hardcore punk kicks in, we get insane guitar theatrics that are covered by the recording style.