Strengthen What Remains is back with a quick and heavy 13-minute EP, Justice Creeps Slow, the follow-up to their debut LP, Turning a Blind Eye. Fans of the band’s previous album may notice a stronger metal vibe this time around, coupled with a slower, sludgy rhythm. In typical metalcore fashion, clean vocals come into play a few times on the album but stay three octaves below the common metalcore falsetto that has trended and plagued in the genre for a years.
As a whole, Justice Creeps Slow feels like a musical step backwards for the band. Tracks such as “Rewriting the Past” and “On the Subject of Race” repeat the same few guitar notes for the entire second half of the songs, causing them to grow stale where they could have been built up. It takes the EP’s final track for the band to hit each member’s strongest performance. Hopefully, this last track is more the taste of what’s to come from the band.
The lyrics can best be summarized in the EP’s closing lyric from “Moral Majority”: “Your golden calf is painted red, white and blue.” There is a danger in making American patriotism synonymous with Christianity, and the band isn’t afraid to speak up on that matter. Other songs hit on the topic of racial injustice, prosperity preachers and portraying American history in a faulty light. The lyrics are angry and will perhaps alienate some listeners, but it fits right in with the pissed-off hardcore vibe. There’s no doubt the band gets their point across.