SALVATION OF INNOCENTS
I know that I have a pretty distinct label on me of what most people think I like to listen to. I believe that most people think that I'm a classic metal fan whose musical taste basically goes from 80s hair metal bands to Bay Area Thrash. I can't lie - I do love that style a ton...probably the most of anything I do listen to. When it comes to heavy music though, I think many would be very surprised that a close second for me is '90s/'00s era hardcore. Simply put, I'll take albums by the Spudmonsters, Agnostic Front or Hatebreed over anything that the likes of Korn or Disturbed ever delivered. One of my favorites has always been Earth Crisis. With the core of the band intact, Earth Crisis came back from the dead five years ago and have been putting out some of the best material of their career. SALVATION OF INNOCENTS continues this trend.
Without question, SALVATION OF INNOCENTS won't surprise many people. Listening to it is like trying to take a bite out of a running chainsaw. The seething energy literally rips through your head. As always, the band is super tight, and the songs develop perfectly. If anyone that's into hardcore can listen to a song like "The Morbid Glare" and not have the desire to get up and mosh wildly, then they are little more than frauds in their claims of love for the genre. SALVATION is a blistering release which sees all the members of the band not only performing as well as they ever have on a release, but also shows the most growth these guys have exhibited as a band since coming back. Songs like "Razors Through Flesh" show more diversity than the band has, really, ever shown in their career. Guitarists Scott Crouse and Erick Edwards bring a fat, thick riff to this song and every other. At other times, such as the mid-tempoed socially conscious number "Depraved Indifference", you can't help but appreciate the tight playing and the crushing groove singlehandedly created by their riffs.
The guitar work here is excellent, and it's ridden well by longtime vocalist Karl Buechner. While he'll never be considered a great vocalist, he has a sound that's all his own and always has been recognizable. Listening to him rage on "De-Sensitized" and the almost Hatebreed like "No Reason", you can't help but get sucked into the aggression. Buechner, Crouse and Edwards work perfectly with the bottom end of each song, which is thick and driving throughout. Drummer Dennis Merrick is particularly beast-like throughout. He doesn't overplay, but he sets the groove on most of these tunes. He's partnered up with bassist Bulldog Edwards to drive every song brilliantly. You can't help but feel the rage of songs like the blistering "Tentacles Of The Altering Eye". All in all, this release rages!
PITRIFF RATING - 92/100 - What more is there to say? If you love brilliant hardcore, then you can't go wrong with SALVATION OF INNOCENTS. This album kicks you in the nuts and makes you hope you cough up blood. It's punishing, violent and angry...just the way the best hardcore metal should be.