For The Cause

Written by: PP on 23/07/2018 21:48:17

New York Hardcore stalwarts Madball are back with their ninth album "For The Cause", the successor to 2014's excellent "Hardcore Lives" that in many ways revitalized the band's sound that had been stagnant for quite some time through songs like "Doc Marten Stomp". It added a surprising melodic hardcore twist to the band's signature New York Hardcore formula, which worked wonders for the standard chunky, stomp-friendly sound of the band's past as it all of a sudden sounded fresh and compatible with recent trends in hardcore at large. Coupled with a crystal clear production it amounted to a modern classic, leaving high expectations to fill for the new album.

In some ways, the new album attempts to capitalize on the forward momentum created by "Hardcore Lives". Songs like "Rev Up", "The Fog", "Lone Wolf" and "Freight Train" utilize a similarly melodic edge to NYHC as before, immediately standing out as the highlight tracks on the album. As for the rest, well, unfortunately, it's standard fare Madball through and through. In practice, it means solid hardcore songs with two-step / mosh-friendly rhythms and Freddy's signature style yelps, but not exactly anything you'll remember two weeks down the line. Ice T's cameo during "Evil Ways" is great, adding some Body Count flavor to the song, but the rest of the track is regrettably forgettable. The Spanish-sung "Es Tu Vida" is quirky, but the novelty wears off.

In that sense, "For The Cause" is an emblem of Madball as an institution within hardcore. It's more or less what you'd expect, so the hardcore fans get their fix of NYHC played the Madball way either way. But if you start comparing it to some of the other releases in their back catalogue, all of a sudden the record starts feeling a little bit like a disappointment.

Download: Rev Up, Freight Train, Evil Ways, The Fog, Lone Wolf
For the fans of: Sick Of It All, Agnostic Front, Terror
Listen: Madball

Release date 15.06.2018
Nuclear Blast

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