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Into Oblivion

I’ve been listening to lots of Rise and Fall’s Into Oblivion lately, and the shit slays. Mixed by Converge guitar god Kurt Ballou, Into Oblivion is about as comforting as a sledgehammer to the face. There is nothing pretty about Rise and Fall’s music. They make punishing metallic hardcore on this album that pummels you for ~28 minutes. Ballou’s always fantastic production takes Rise and Fall’s hardcore assault and makes it even more vicious. The guitars sound awesome on this disc– thick chords drive their point home like a dulled buzzsaw being applied to flesh.

Lyrically, the Belgian act spews hate and lots of it. They certainly don’t believe in keeping it “posi,” as Rise and Fall conjures up scathing social and political commentary that is anything but kind. “Stakes is High” contains some particularly interesting lyrics that deal with a betrayer finding out that karma is a bitch. “He’ll trade his soul/ In the blink of an eye/ Is he alive behind those dead eyes?”

But in the end, it’s all about the aggression when it comes to this genre, and Rise and Fall has that in spades. Most tracks rip by, showing little mercy along the way. The album does have the occasional breakdown, but they are utilized tastefully. Album opener “Forked Tongues” disintegrates into a massive breakdown accompanied by a scorching solo that will make any self-respecting hardcore fan want to kill the nearest living thing. Breakdowns on Into Oblivion are used to accentuate the impact of tracks, and never serve as a crutch.i

I’m ashamed that I completely overlooked this album when it came out last year. This is easily one of the finest examples of modern hardcore out there right now, and Rise and Fall is going to be a band to watch for quite awhile. Anyone out there still sleeping on this band– wake up.

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~ by theoberlander on February 22, 2007.

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