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Mindrage/Nailed Promise
Artist: Mindrage/Nailed Promise
Label:  Pluto Records
Length: 8 tracks/36:11

Mindrage and Nailed Promise are two of those heavy bands that a teenager just getting into metal and hardcore will think really ROCK.  If that's you, read no further and go support these bands.  

For veteran moshers, though, Mindrage isn't much more than your average groovin' rumble roarcore--all brawn and no brains.  Meaty distortion, meaty riffs, meaty drums (lots of double bass), meaty bass (a little too much, actually)...and totally unmeaty cliche Christian lyrics (which is probably what most teens need, though).  The vocals are gutteral shouting without much variation until their final and best track "Cold & Grey," which has some actual singing.  Basically, take away the creative riffs and percussion of bands like Living Sacrifice and Soulfly, and the very competent pounding grind that remains is Mindrage.

Nailed Promise begin with a more traditional hardcore take on Korn.  They rip off some of Korn's atmospheric effects and quavering spoken vocals but then rock out into straight hardcore with the usual shouts.  On the other three songs, they seem to realize they'll probably get more respect copying the hardcore formula than stealing from the recognizable kings of corporate complain-core.  It's a mix of typical stop/start and fluid riffs from then on, though they include some variety in the vocals with singing and stretched-to-capacity phlegm-throwing alongside the hxc shouts.  Similar to Mindrage, "uncompromising" Christian lyrics are in force.  The last track has some clean spoken word vocals and stronger songwriting, ending the album with a gift of hope...hope that these two bands may someday venture beyond paint-by-numbers heaviness.

Josh Spencer   4/8/2001

   
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