Stand Your Ground


Written by: PP on 06/09/2011 06:39:36

If there's one brand of hardcore that's currently eagerly spreading its wings worldwide, it's the melodic one which integrates ambiance to the typical hard-hitting chug-chug formula of the genre. Stand Your Ground is one of these newcomers who will almost certainly end up capitalizing on a lot of new fans based on their new album "Despondenseas", a furious melodic hardcore beast that's the perfect example of everything good in the emerging subgenre. Bands like this are all over the UK underground right now, and I believe the same effect is taking place in the US underground, so it's only a matter of time before things explode properly.

In the instant that "Castaway" opens the album, Stand Your Ground pins the listener against the wall like this (except replace the guy on the left with a meaner and leaner one) and basically screams their hardcore ideals in your face through a thickly roaring vocalist until they're certain that the message has been delivered, and even then they're reluctant to let you go. Sure, "A Sudden Breath" offers a quick, uhm, breather where you can relax slightly and enjoy an instrumental interlude from all the breakneck speed pounding that your face and ears have just experienced, but that's actually where the album shifts into gear and the following songs present a beautiful symbiosis of hardcore energy and melodic ambiance. Instrumentally, this section of the album draws from the metalcore/hardcore pioneers Shai Hulud, while adding in energy from The Ghost Inside and perhaps also the ambient element from Misery Signals.

No polyrhythms here, however, as Stand Your Ground offer very basic hardcore instrumentation otherwise. But yet they steer wide and clear from generic chug-a-chug breakdowns and monotonous sections, always making sure to add a melodic background riff or a guitar lead that keeps the listener interested. They also do this with a sense of urgency and immediacy, ensuring that the listener feels like he is 'in the moment' with the band during the whole listen. It also helps that the band's songwriting skills are superior to many hardcore bands, as evident in tracks like "Nautilus", "No Star Shines", or "In The Wake Of Drowning". Their songs are catchy, but they don't distort the hardcore message nor the aggressive in-your-face factor at all, instead amplifying the effect through bigger-sounding melodies that are designed with larger stages in mind. My guess is that Stand Your Ground will go far, because not only do they have the momentum of an entire genre surfacing on countless playlists around the world right now, they also have an album's worth of great songs to convince even the hardcore skeptics.


Download: Nautilus, Castaway, No Star Shines, In The Wake Of Drowning
For the fans of: Hundredth, The Ghost Inside, Shai Hulud
Listen: Myspace

Release date 30.08.2011
Rite Of Passage / Mediaskare Records

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