Hostility - "Uncompromised" (CD)
"Uncompromised" track listing:
1. Without A Chance
2. None For All
3. Death As Leverage
4. Common Ground
5. Liquid Chaos
6. Conditioned To Fail
7. Blood, White & Blue
8. Post-Traumatic Confession
9. Iron Fist
10. Draining The Blister
11. Negative Reinforcement
12. Last Man Standing
Reviewed by rocket on October 12, 2006
The album's title 'Uncompromised' certainly sums up what the listener is in store for with this Northern California metal band's debut release off The Pen/Voltaic Records label. The first track, "Without A Chance," shoots straight out the gate with a clearcut mission to knock you out with banshee howl vocals, an epic guitar sound and a bludgeoning rhythm section. Track two is one of my immediate favorites, entitled "None For All," spitting out pissed off lyrics: "Sacrifice is strength. Unity through pain. Past the point of pride." Lead guitarist, Tony Vorrises is obviously a direct graduate of Dimebag's school of harmonic squeals and thunder riffs. This dude can play. Track three, "Death As Leverage," starts out with lead singer Greg Haran yelling 'Fuck' and then launches off into one of the more acrobatic vocal performances I've ever heard. The middle section change to a half-time groove is very effective in getting one to start thinking about moshing in place. The guitar sound from Vorrises on this one is simply brutal and unlike much of what you're ever going to hear from watered down pop metal bands of today. Track number four "Common Ground' lets all the competition know where these guys are coming from with: "Every inch you took, we're taking back. Ready to explode. Respect deserved but never shown." Haran's vocals on this song sound very death metal inspired for sure but this guy is pretty much the proto-typical growler anyway. A true talent. Track number five, "Liquid Chaos," starts off with a slow, tripped out, effect-heavy riff that pulls you into one of the craziest sounding opening screams ever and simply pummels you with its heaviness. Track six, "Conditioned To Fail," does not lack any of the intensity from the songs before it, but actually picks it up a level. "You'll never make it, that is all I hear them keep saying. Fuck you, fuck that, come on - bring it." The band's dire thirst for shooting to the top of the metal heap has easily been achieved with this great first work. It is hands down one of the baddest metal songs I've heard since anything off of Super Joint Ritual's last two albums.
Track seven, "Blood White & Blue," is an homage to the 9/11 terror attacks on America. "Death toll - death toll is on the rise. Sifting - sifting through concrete and steel. Awaken to the brutal truth." The command and authority with material that this band has at such an early point in its career is devastating and should be a loud warning for the rest. What I like so much about them is that they incorporate so many different genres of metal and a songwriting style that is as chaotic as their lyrics. Track eight, "Post -Traumatic Confession," seriously sums up the current Bush aministration with the scorned lyrics: "Power doesn't come from a knife or a gun. Power comes from lying big and getting the whole world to play along." Track nine, "Iron Fist," is easily the most death metal-sounding of the entire collection, blast beat and all. And Haran proclaims immediately, "More than enough punishment to go around." This song truly showcases the brilliance of lead guitarist Vorrises. It's almost as if his guitar takes on a life of its own, chugging away like a death-embraced freight train and ripping with harmonic genius that is hardly rivaled today by any other. Track ten "Draining The Blister" shows us that these guys are not one of those heavy acts that can only deliver four or five killers on a full length. It kicks out one of the album's meanest riffs and the steady and unrelenting rhythm attack coming from Brandon Sigmund on bass guitar and Andrew Holzbaur is uncanny.
Haran appears to have seen The Exorcist movie many times, himself sounding like the utter perfection of an infuriated 'by demons' individual. Track eleven, "Negative Reinforcement," just back it all up with the lyrics: "Constant pressure under my temples. Always building, so relentless." And if you cannot get inspired to start a pit in your very own living room with this gem, you need to have your damn pulse checked. The final track is "Last Man Standing" and lets it all hang out with the straight up preaching: "Degrade. Maim. Destroy. So what the fuck are you made of?" and goes off into the most destructive breakdown yet, coming to an end with the most poignant lyrics I think I've ever heard in my life and will easily stick with me for some time to come: "Me, myself and I. Only I." Pure brilliance. This album and this band is one that I will soon not forget.
Highs: The production and musical content are simply top notch.
Lows: I think that Haran on vocals could have shown other styles to his great voice.
Bottom line: One of the most brutal metal albums for 2006. Period.
Get more info including news, reviews, interviews, links, etc. on our Hostility band page.