Heavy is a word that can be overused amongst the metal community in these modern times, as bands and the publicity teams clamour over each other in an attempt to be the next big thing making an affect of our musical community.
But sometimes it is the only word that can be used to describe a sound properly and here it is the only word that sums up this band. If you haven’t been following along yet, Justice for the Damned don’t seem to care as they pummel your ear drums for just over 30 minutes with their brand of solid deathcore that leans heavily in the (hard)core direction at times. Now, now, settle down. Just because I used the dreaded D word, now is not the time to give up on this album.
Arriving in a manner that feels as haunting as early The Acacia Strain, Guidance From Pain and the album title track dirge along through breakdown after breakdown, keeping the musical weight from lifting but also never quite taking the brake off. If the stomp of deathcore isn’t your thing or you don’t think you can sit though a few minutes of it, best skip to the good stuff.
The good stuff (and best track on the album) starts at the third track, Final Cataclysm and it never really lets up from here. Injecting their hardcore roots and pace whilst experimenting with a solid foundation put in place by bands before them helps to show how much JFTD has grown in the few short years since the release of debut album Dragged Through the Dirt.
No Peace At The Feet Of Your Master brings back the slow heavy riffs before aiming squarely for a two-step style hardcore beat that will have you skanking and swinging fists down the street (or wherever you listen to good music – stay safe and remember to pull those punches, kids) and by the time the breakdown hits in the middle the path of destruction you may (or may not have) left behind will be manageable, as The House You Built is Burning has a great old school pace that will help you quickly shimmy away from the chaos you accidentally created, throwing in another huge breakdown just when you need to take a breather.
The heavy death style leanings really push to the fore on Machine of War, crushing the listener some more, with just enough groove in the middle. I could keep breaking down track by track what makes this another great Aussie release. Instead let me moan about how the final track Die By the Fire misses the mark after so much good came before it. Not that it isn’t heavy, or fast, or hardcore and death enough, it seems the album has just run its course by then.
With an album built on the solid foundations this one is, Justice for the Damned will continue to grow beyond the borders of our humble country. Get on board now if you weren’t already, as this album will no doubt take the band places.
1. Guidance From The Pain
2. Pain Is Power
3. Final Cataclysm
4. No Peace At The Feet Of Your Master
5. The House You Built Is Burning
6. Machine Of War
7. A Crimson Painting
8. Sinking Into The Floor
9. Blister Of The Plague
10. Die By The Fire