New Strength from Kublai Khan attempts to capture the bands wildfire live energy with mostly succesful results. The band play a particularly low end heavy brand of metalcore that doesn’t skimp in the energy department. They don’t exhaust ears by overly leaning on deathcore breakdowns, prefering rapid attack hardcore and groove heavy, almost borderline nu metal you wouldn’t find out of place on a downset or emmure album. The cool thing about that is that live you have plenty of basslines breaking things up before jackhammer guitars piledrive sweaty crowds, but can it translate onto their sophomore release?
The results are mixed. While some people will certainly find this to be right up their alley and the band are much more driven, pissed off and self-assured than many contemporaries, tracks start to blend together. “Smoke and Mirrors” will surely please modern metalcore fans with an anti-corruption in the industry theme and a full on pitting focus for the whole tune, the roared vocals really convincing you that the band are hellbent on survival with or without your help or trends. “Come Out Of Your Room” is another highlight, with a vicious opening riff that is as aggressive as the heaviest Gideon stuff, for example. It’s probably the most charged up besides the excellent and emotionally raw “Ghost Pains (pt.3)” with the very honest line “I am the product of a single mother.” Fuckin’ cool stuff and reminds me of the power of early Hatebreed.
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