March Of Dissolution - Reactions
Album March Of Dissolution
Genre: Modern Hardcore
Review by Steve Jenkins
Aussie hardcore lads, Reactions, are a tough act to pigeonhole; and although perhaps their debut full-length could best be described as a love letter to hardcore acts of the 90's and early 2000's with some modern day angst and some almost Slayer inspired riffs to top it all off, March Of Dissolution is without doubt a modern sounding album and it in no way imitates or copies, but it does sound familiar and in good way. Reactions' sound does encompass some of the modern trappings of the genre, it’s ironically their resurrection of musical elements and styles which have long since left the collective consciousness, which makes this record much more of a fresh and compelling listen, with some straight up headbanging and fist pumping moments along the way.
The album kicks off with an organ playing followed by a slow build up drum pattern before it turns into a furious lead of a song, something to immediately grab the listener. It must be noted that he entire album does a great job of demanding your attention. The vocals are harsh and enraged but don't overshadow the lyrics at all, it's easy to get on board with this style of hardcore. As for the actual content of the music, most of what is offered is punishing riffs and drumming, which is a big double edged sword on this album. Everything is played to safe to be all to memorable but it stops any tracks from stooping to rock bottom. The drums just roll along side the guitar and vocals, and the guitar is super punchy with some very well executed riffs, almost reminiscent of some old school thrash metal. The small number of breakdowns that feel necessary and add to the tracks are however very unforgiving and brutal enough to get your blood pumping.
March Of Dissolution does offer the listener an immediate sort of satisfaction, there's a catchy and head moving quality about the music. The lyrics and choruses are mostly typical hardcore but steering away from being cheesy or over-the-top tough guy sounding, if that even makes sense?Reactions have created some infectious tracks, and while some do slip under the cracks, even those tracks are enough to warrant a few replays once you've taken the whole album in. The conflicting styles that Reactions provide are very few and far between, which means that when they do try something different, it shines and becomes a real highlight. Although the diversity of ideas on show leads to many delightfully unexpected twists and turns throughout, a little bit more of this would have been brilliant, but hey it's still damn awesome. There’s a real sense throughout that the old school metal and hardcore sides of the band are pulling furiously against each other, competing for dominance, leading to a few moments which feel rather disjointed; and indeed it's much like the band hasn’t quite reached the final evolution of the possibilities of this sound just yet. But make no mistake; when it works – it works. It’s an album, which when at its best, subverts the expectations of what a modern hardcore act needs to be. It’s an album which unashamedly embraces the best of the past, while looking forwards to the future. It’s a breath of fresh air and enough to be a standout in a scene which all too often tends to play it safe; and I’ll take that over a by-the-numbers hardcore band any day. There's not much to fault here folks.
8 out of 10 stars.
March Of Dissolution is out now via Resist Records.
Watch the official video for the track 'Heavy Chains' below: