The Revenge Of The Fifth

Written by: PP on 02/08/2016 21:37:28

Technical skate punk legends Belvedere returned a few months ago with their first studio album in twelve years. "The Revenge Of The Fifth", as their fifth full-length is called, displays the Canadian band at their best, delivering breakneck speed guitar wizardry played ultra-tightly with catchy vocal hooks just like on past records. Stylistically, it lands the band and this record at the exact midpoint between the ravaging technical, hardcore-laced punk of A Wilhelm Scream and the upbeat skate punk of circa "Pennybridge Pioneers"-era Millencolin, albeit in a turbocharged format.

It's not for everyone. The riffs are as intricate as they get in punk rock, swirling scales up and down in lightning speed, providing awe-inspiring technicality that takes the lead role on the record over vocal harmonies or instantly catchy song structures. Sure, "Hairline" and especially "Red Pawn's Race" have solid chorus melodies that stick out straight away, but they aren't exactly borderline pop punk. With a soundscape rooted in hardcore given roughened edge to the cleans and the occasional barks and yells on the background, Belvedere's soundscape is rather aimed at the same audience who find the challenging and depth-laden punk rock of bands like Propagandhi or Antillectual more suitable to their taste. So while we're firmly in a melodic punk territory, the fiery tempo, the advanced fretwork, and subtle vocal melodies are bound to turn away some as simply too challenging a listen, leaving the most dedicated punk rock fans behind.

And that's a shame, because overall, "The Revenge Of The Fifth" is a great introduction to how high-energy and technical intricacy can be combined into an enjoyable record. It doesn't reinvent the wheel, just shapes it into a hexagon shape to showcase sharp corners, twists, and turns instrumentally. With a number of rock solid vocal melodies to boot, it should have wider appeal within the scene - especially for fans who hold records by Bigwig, Lipona, or Much The Same in high regard. Sadly, the buzz around the record hasn't taken off at any point despite a twelve-year break since "Fast Forward Eats The Tape". Still, it showcases technical punk with solid songwriting and played with utmost skill.


Download: Hairline, Red Pawn's Race, Achilles, Delicastressin,
For the fans of: Millencolin, A Wilhelm Scream, This Is A Standoff, Atlas Losing Grip, Lipona, Much The Same, Bigwig, Mute
Listen: Facebook

Release date 05.05.2016
Lockjaw Records

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