Metallic hardcore is in, and 2014 produced some great records to prove it. But 2015, though early, is trending to top last year. Judgement X Day starts their year with the release of The Altar, a 16-minute onslaught of in-your-face hardcore, throwing us back to the greats of the NYHC scene of the ’80s.
The record starts off with “Age of Innocence,” a heavy song that plays out as one big complex mosh part featuring Chad Paramore of Messengers on guest vocals. If you were hoping to start out the record head banging, you were in luck. “Seek” is a thrashing, drum-driven track, blending the ’80s crossover thrash style with the new beatdown breakdowns, breaking perfectly into the standout track,“Vision of a Sanctuary.” The track is a Metallica track, if Metallica were to write a metalcore record.
“Vision” breaks for clean vocal choruses between thrashing verses, all leading into a slow breakdown, while“Rise” is a 33 second song, that relies on blast beats. It’s more of a transition into the groovy-yet-thrashing title track before the record is closed by “New World Prophecy.” The parting song starts with a clean guitar over a voice, leading into a Twitching Tongues-style mix of spoken word and clean singing over a droning, driving guitar part. The resolution closes with a piano playing.
This record grabs you from the first chord and doesn’t let go until the final key is played. It’s a must hear for the metal and hardcore fan alike, and is a great start to what proves to be a great year in hardcore.