To be honest, I didn’t expect much if anything from this album. However, once I put it in the player, I was floored. Hail the New Pawn puts these guys right at the upper tier of hardcore/grindcore ranks. It’s a no-brainer. THE DREAM IS DEAD combine grindcore, crust-punk flavorings, and dissonant hardcore into an unrelenting, chaotic anti-establishment beast. They occupy a musical space somewhere between NAPALM DEATH and MISERY INDEX. Seriously, the band hits with every kind of extreme riff they can think of, a barrage of tempo changes, and enough vocal barks to penetrate that thick material we call the “human brain.” Vocalist Clark Giles gives it all he’s got with a great performance. And thankfully, he doesn’t sound like 1,000 other hardcore vocalists. Another strength of Hail the New Pawn lays in the feel. While the songs communicate an immediate feel of brutality and unrelenting attitude, there is also an ominous air to them. To top things off, the production work was by none other than Alex Newport (THEORY OF RUIN/ex-FUDGE TUNNEL/NAILBOMB). The production is nothing short of crystal clear, powerful, and balanced especially for the drums. The bottom line is that you need to do yourself a favor and check out one of the best albums of the year.
Limited to 100 copies, Clear w/ Red Splatter.
(Escape Artist Records)