Artist: Kublai Khan TX
Review by Steve Jenkins
Texas Metalcore mainstays Kublai Khan TX just dropped their brand new fourth studio album Absolute on October 4 via Rise Records. The band are known for their throwback style of 90's metallic hardcore employed with extremely heavy and slow breakdowns, with downtuned guitars and raspy yet strong vocals.
Absolute is yet another crushing effort, showcasing some of their most innovative and attention grabbing tracks to date. Not many other bands have been able to step up with such malice and aggression like Kublai Khan TX have done over the past few years, and that's mostly due to the pure rage and venom that vocalist Matt Honeycutt dishes out. His vocals are just a perfect match for the nasty hardcore tones that you hear, and there's also a certain level of emotion and passion that completely benefits their sound as whole. The animosity is in full force with plenty of "F*ck You's!" thrown around which is a clear indicator that Honeycutt is pissed of big time and it shows. The groove laden breakdowns are simply outstanding on Absolute and there's no shortage of them, but none that really overstay their welcome which is good.
But this is so much more than another angry hardcore release that you can swing your arms and legs around to. The song structures and transitions on here are extremely well executed and accurately placed throughout the album. Yes this is a very straight to the f*cking point band and album, but the songwriting on Absolute really flourishes and shows a certain level of maturity. Another highlight for me personally is the bass breakdown towards the end of "Self-Destruct", and I can't even remember the last time I heard one so that was really refreshing and cool. It should also be noted that every single song on the album has an excellent intro that just makes it so much easier to get into, eliminating every chance of being bored or losing focus because there's zero time for that quite honestly.
Overall, this album is great and I can't really find anything to fault so I'm not going try and keep looking as I enjoy it very much. I guess one thing I would change is how damn strong the first half of the album is, but after that it didn't really hold up in comparison. There were so many "Holy Shit!" moments for me with those first six tracks but then the last couple felt a little flat. This isn't my favourite style of heavy music, so I can't really give it a perfect score but it gets damn close. It's been a very good year for those metalcore/hardcore crossover bands, Knocked Loose blew me away not too long ago with their incredible album 'A Different Shade Of Blue' and now Kublai Khan TX have done the same. They've got the intensity and the groove down pat and some of these tracks are going to be absolutely insane inside a live setting. So, if you like angry, explosive and dynamic metalcore then you're going to love Absolute, and be sure to catch them when they're here in Australia early 2020!
8 out of 10.
Absolute is out now via Rise Records.