No Turning Back

Never Give Up

Written by: PP on 19/02/2015 21:24:56

For eight albums now, testosterone-driven hardcore warriors No Turning Back have been waving the European hardcore flag high above their shoulders, the latest full-length "Never Give Up" being no exception. With themes ranging from hardcore unity to the struggles of life and instrumentation largely following the down-tuned, ferocious two-step rhythmic pattern, it's easy to dismiss "Never Give Up" on its face value as a textbook hardcore album that represents the perceived refusal of innovation existing in this part of music scene. But much like Terror's excellent output nevermind what you think of Scott Vogel's politics, No Turning Back are an institution within hardcore on this continent, which continues to defy its dumbed-down soundscape through catchy songwriting.

Whether it's fierce breakdowns, memorable one-liners or confrontational lyrics, No Turning Back convince the listener throughout "Never Give Up" that sometimes it is indeed perfectly fine not to attempt reinventing the wheel and just stick with what works. Tight, fist-pump inducing riffs? Check. Passages designed for the camo-shorts crew to get their mosh on? You betcha. Aggressive lyrical phrasing, such as this gem "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger is a lie. I'm not trusting anyone 'til the day I die." from album highlight "Not Afraid"? The album is scattered with these. At the same time, all the usual suspects are referenced as a result of supergluing the envelope to its preexisting location: Expire, Backtrack, Lionheart, Strife, Trapped Under Ice, et cetera. All of them play a similarly muscular, macho style hardcore that's more about unleashing your inner anger and pissed off energy than about breaking any musical boundaries. Common to all is that they're very good at that well-specified task. So are No Turning Back, which a legacy of eight albums now should also tell you. So keeping that in mind, how does "Never Give Up" stack up against the back catalogue?

Rather well, I'd say, at least in terms of keeping up the consistency. Hardcore doesn't come much more straight up than No Turning Back's expression: simple, but effective instrumentation where tempo ranges from hardcore punk levels to punishingly slow breakdowns for the karate kids to go crazy on. Here, the aforementioned "Not Afraid", "Not Fade Away", "This Time" and "Destination Unknown" take the prize home as the best tracks. Here, the yells are at their catchiest whilst still retaining a distinctly hardcore vibe. But in the end, it sounds exactly the same as No Turning Back have always done; Europe's answer to Terror.


Download: Not Afraid, This Time, Destination Unknown, Not Fade Away
For the fans of: Expire, Terror, Backtrack, Lionheart, Risk It!, Strife, Trapped Under Ice
Listen: Facebook

Release date 07.01.2015
Take Control Records

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