Life is like a circle pit; no matter how fast you go or how hard you slam, you will never actually go anywhere or do anything meaningful. It’s a sad reality and if you disagree, take a look around your house or apartment that hasn’t been cleaned in months. I’m sure its covered with old show posters, records you don’t spin anymore, and instruments you told yourself you’d put to good use. Yeah, you got a band going at one point, but Steve got too busy with work and Jeff never practiced the songs and just wanted an excuse to get drunk in venue parking lots and play his drums poorly. Ultimately your band, along with your hopes and dreams of getting to headline This Is Hardcore, were quickly thrown to the wind as you and all your former bandmates work retail jobs all while anticipating the next time Terror will tour. You’ve seen Terror 3000 times, but because you never surrounded yourself with people who challenge you in a loving way you’ve fallen into a boring, monotonous routine and your music tastes have suffered for it. You now say things like, “kids listen to such garbage now,” all while failing to recognize you’re only 25 and still have plenty of time to grow as a person.
You won’t, though; you’ll keep your job at Zumiez and eventually sell off all the gear you worked so hard to purchase. Soon after, you’ll begin to save up to have your ears sewn back up (your dad was right, you did regret stretching them) and all those sick American traditional tattoos on your arms have faded, just like your interest in all the things you used to love and hold dear. You come home from another day of having your labor and body exploited by a company who proudly sells longboards to frat bros who push mongo. After reading a text from your partner that reads, “call me when you can,” and realizing your gonna be late on your rent again, you sigh and contemplate whether or not existence in this life is worth it. After remembering some terrible lyrics from your favorite local posi hardcore band, you decide its time for a change. On an insignificant Tuesday in July, you decide you’re gonna turn things around; but where to start? Luckily, you follow CVLT Nation on social media, and pull out your phone. Through your cracked screen you see that your favorite writer/heavy music blogger has reviewed the album Formidable Darkness by Red Death. Frantically, you press play all while reading the cynical yet humorous writing of CVLT Nation’s most talented writer.
“Red Death are no strangers to crossover madness, and Formidable Darkness gives the band an edge over the criminally overdone trend of hardcore kids trying their best to play any form of metal. We get it – you all wanna pretend to love Leeway and be the next Power Trip. Red Death rejects this entirely, which is exactly where their superior riffage comes from. From the title track to “Restless Acts of Madness,” Red Death thrash their way through every crossover influence in the book. In the simplest terms, this album makes playing in standard tuning great again! A big standout on the album is undoubtedly the vocals of Chad Troncale and his ability to give every grunt and growl a rockin’ vibe that even aging metalheads who’ve “seen Motorhead 30 times brotha” can appreciate. Red Death have been at it for a while and have earned their good standing in the hardcore and metal community, playing relentlessly all over the US all while giving kids at shows a new reason to love all the classics. My personal shit talking aside, Red Death, and Formidable Darkness specifically, bring out the best elements of hardcore and thrash. There are no filler parts, only mean transitions that draw on both old and new clichés to get people moving. There is no time to stand around and wait for the breakdown to mosh, because Red Death have masterfully produced the soundtrack that will be played at the hesher prom for years to come. So strap on your high top Reeboks, or Vans – or flip flops for all I fucking care – just be ready to groove when the Formidable Darkness comes cruising your way!!”
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