As We Fight

Midnight Tornado

Written by: PP on 29/12/2006 15:20:13

It isn't up to debate whether or not As We Fight are Denmark's biggest and best metalcore act at the moment. Their previous album "Black Nails & Bloody Wrists" exploded the band onto the international scene with its brutal, Sweden-influenced outtake on metalcore, filled with both growled and screamed vocals. The new effort, "Midnight Tornado", simply picks up where "Black Nails.." left off, clarifying and focusing their sound slightly more. But yet it was still going to be a damn difficult album to review, because what exactly do you say about an album that brings nothing new to an overstretched genre, but still sounds reasonably good regardless?

"Where Eagles Turn", "Escaping The Poisoned Hands Of" and "Annihilation" are the highlights of the album. These are the tracks where the Gothenburg-metal/Swedish melodeath influences are clearly visible but don't sound overly forced, and instead fuse together with the generic metalcore riffing and the savage delivery of it all.

As We Fight have also grown as a band. They've abandoned the growling for the sake of growling attitude some of their previous songs held in favor of the much more fitting screamo-influenced style that peaked here and there on "Black Nails..". The band also made a good choice by assigning Tue Madsen and Jacob Bredahl to mix and produce the album respectively. The end result is that the album sounds remorseless - the availing ruthless guitar picking, the assaulting screams and the commanding drumming were all recorded in a way that the album sounds like it was meant to be played live, and it indeed is not difficult to imagine the kind of destruction on stage during songs like "Annihilation".

"Standing At The Gates Of Failure" has more than just a part of the title in common with the legendary band who brought us "Slaughter Of The Soul" - and if that band rings a bell in your mind, there's no doubt you'll love the song, which is the best representation of how As We Fight sounds like throughout the record. Essentially, all tracks are like this one in one form or another, either they are fast like "This Fuck You Is My Last Goodbye", or even faster like "Slay The Firstborn", but they all have the same elements in common: A ferocious lead guitar either going scales or doing picks, a supporting heavy-as-fuck rhythm guitar, madman like drumming with plenty of blast beats and ear-bleeding screams delivered by the dual vocalists Laurits & Jason.

But yet this isn't simply a replay of "Black Nails...". Songs like "Where Eagles Turn" and "Annihilation" demonstrate that the band has grown both artistically and stylistically. They've jumped off from the 'lets be heavy as fuck and growl for the sake of growling' bandwagon and instead show better effort at composing meaningful songs. The band has added much melody to their brutal guitar assaults without losing their harsh edge, and vocalists Laurits and Jason have fine tuned their screams, sounding more confident, and less pure-noise this time around, effectively meaning most of the growling the band had in the past has now moved to the side in favor of the more screamo-influenced style. Whether or not this is a good thing I won't judge, but it certainly adds more ferocity to the songs, that already sound like they were written with the live stage in mind.

Essentially, "Midnight Tornado" has pretty much everything the fans of the more brutal side of metalcore like. But this is also where it slightly stumbles, as all songs on the album are so alike, that even after several weeks of listening it's hard to remember which song is which, other than the few highlight songs on the track. It's a good effort and definitely in the right direction, but As We Fight must still add some focus on their studio-sound, as "Midnight Tornado" sounds like the band only recorded the songs so people would know the tracks live.

6

Download: Where Eagles Turn, Standing At The Gates Of Failure
For the fans of: At The Gates, Himsa, Parkway Drive, Unearth
Listen: Myspace (scroll down to the left for two free downloads)

Release date 30.10.2006
Dockyard1

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