Sound — 7
More times than I could count does a band call it quits and the past members move on to form another project. With much anticipation, I wait for a release and an almost immediately disappointed. When Despised Icon disbanded in 2010 the deathcore scene lost a giant and I would not have to wait long to hear of another project from former member Alexandre Erian. Descpised Icon dissolved right around the time former Canadian metal merchants Blind Witness and Dark Rites were calling it quits. Erian with Blind Witness' John Campbell (guitar) and Miguel Lepage (bass) plus Greg Wood (guitar) and Stevie Morotti (drums) of Darkness Rites made for a "supergroup" of sorts.
With my expectations set rather low I checked out his new project Obey The Brave and their album titled "Young Blood." Immediately my low expectations were blown away. The sound wasn't at all the Despised Icon rip off I was expecting, rather it was a fresh "new" hardcore kind of sound. I use the "new" term loosely because while it does consist of some bottom string chugging, it has a great deal of melodic guitar parts and a favorable range of vocals including clean singing. Don't be swayed by the melody and clean singing, this album is still heavy in its own right with furious vocals and heavy chest pounding breakdowns. Another aspect of the album that I feel sets it apart is their attention to pronouncing their instruments in ways newer heavy bands don't. Guitars, drums and vocals are set aside and mixed perfectly. The bass drums are crisp and give songs a certain groove I feel has gone missing from newer hardcore acts. "Young Blood" also features an eerie little 30 second interlude that sounds like something off an industrial hip-hop album.
Lyrics — 7
Lyrically this album fits in pretty well with the hardcore community. Writing songs about crushing your enemies and overcoming adversity has almost became cliché (they seem like something you'd listen to before a UFC fight), but Obey The Brave does it just as good as anyone out there. The track titled "Live and Learn" showcases exactly what I am talking about:
"You live and you learn
Your life's none of my concern
Live and learn!
Make your own way
Don't count on me
Live and learn
No heroes, just f--king foes"
While they might not be the "freshest" lyrics on the block, they are not the worst I have ever seen. The aggressive nature of the music lends itself to aggressive lyrics and vocal delivery so they do fit rather well.
Overall Impression — 8
Over impression of this album is a good one although like I stated earlier, I did not have high hopes going in. I truly loved Despised Icon and hated like hell when they disbanded, but from the ashes Obey The Brave has definitely risen to the occasion. "Young Blood" certainly fits in well with its hardcore contemporaries sounds relatively like a mix between Emmure, Stick To Your Guns, and Hatebreed. I would definitely replace my copy if it were lost or stolen. I'd suggest this to anyone looking for a good addition to their workout music. Listen to metal, drink coffee, and if you're still angry do some pushups!