The Madness

Written by: MAK on 10/08/2015 15:36:42

Every now and then you might discover a band to then find out they have already been around for several years, you like what you hear and then you think to yourself “How have these guys escaped my radar?”. This was one of my thoughts when I came across Hardside’s new release “The Madness” which would be the San Antonio quintet's 2nd full length release following their 2012 release “Time Is Punishment”. As a first release through Beatdown Hardwear who have released records from the likes of Warhound and Dead Man’s Chest in recent years, Hardside are here to make a real impact!

They kick off the album with a minute long intro track “No On Gets Out Alive” which is incredibly bass heavy, and provides a riff quite reminiscent of the Pantera song “I’m Broken” in general tone and style. Title track “The Madness” swiftly follows with very similar 90’s hardcore/metal crossover grooves but picks up the tempo and energy at the beginning to get heads banging. Midway through the track, the pace drops again; the general attitude of the song gets even heavier, the bass gets deeper and you can just imagine how violent those pits are going to be.

Throughout the album this seems to be a regular formula, similar tracks to the title track, “Cage” and “Forever” continue to deliver even more varied paced, very 90’s style riffs and simplistic beats accompanied by a mixture of gravelly harsh vocals and cleans that appear to emulate clean vocals provided in Warhound songs. It is undeniable that the crossover scene and that 90’s Californian sound has played a massive part in Hardside’s influence, providing songs that would have fit in well with the likes of Pantera, Pissing Razors and very early Machine Head, in fact the very end of video-release song “Timebomb” sounds like it could be a rip from the Machine Head classic “Davidian”.

While sticking to the same formula has its advantages, there is noticeably a lack of variety from this latest release. This might appease some fans of this particular style, though it’s also quite possible that others looking for more depth and originality might be less impressed. Production wise “The Madness” is a massive step up from any of its predecessors, a much crisper and more professional sound proving that this could be a real breakthrough for others to take notice of.

“The Madness” came as a nice surprise, for a style that you wouldn’t exactly say is defunct, but not dominating the scene either, Hardside have delivered an album full of proper meaty grooves, dirty riffs that make it impossible to not bang your head in appreciation. This album could be the trigger that ignites a new-found love for that specific 90’s hardcore/metal crossover sound in some listeners. In some way this also sounds very similar to Cruel Hand in places, though I consider them to be how Metallica would have sounded if they were a hardcore band.


Download: The Madness, Cage, Timebomb
For The Fans Of: (very early) Machine Head, Cruel Hand, Take Offense, War Hungry
Listen: facebook.com

Release date 31.07.2015
Beatdown Hardwear

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