Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Forfeit - The Lower Depths

First off, I want to say what a fantastic job Reaper Records has done with the preorder package for this LP. Stunning cover art, colored vinyl and a full size poster round out the deal. My excitement to receive the preorder was definitely satisfied once I opened the tightly wrapped cardboard mailer and saw this.

I was a fan of the first EP, so I was expecting something similar in the vein of older Blacklisted or Reign Supreme. One of my favorite parts of the initial release was the raw, gritty sound of the vocals and guitar. The Lower Depths is different in a few ways from this, as the band seems to be finding their own voice. The overall sound is cleaner and doesn't sound quite like a rehash of Blacklisted's Our Youth is Wasted.

The record starts off with a nice intro piece, followed up by a fairly ordinary fast-then-slow hardcore song. The songs seem to go by quickly, and I found myself waiting for that explosive "WOW" moment that I experience in many hardcore LPs. However, by the time the album ended, I really never experienced anything like this. Of course, there are plenty of mosh-inspiring breaks and furious vocals, but I didn't get the same feeling as I did from the Visions EP.

Probably my favorite two songs on the LP are "Bloodletting" and the closing track, "Parallel Worlds." Each song has its own feel, but remains true to the band's heavy, relentless sound. I would expect to hear each of these on the band's current tour with labelmates Trapped Under Ice and Naysayer, as they are sure to be crowd pleasers. "Parallel Worlds" is especially interesting while the song almost takes on a late 80's metal vibe during the chorus.

I certainly applaud the band for moving forward musically, I was just hoping for something more out of the LP. Fans of the Reaper Records catalog will enjoy this LP, and before anyone makes a decision about these guys they should check out their intense, energetic live show. Reaper has the LP available along with some pretty sweet shirts exclusive for the record - check it.