Friday, August 10, 2012

Review:Like Rats-Self Titled LP

2012

From the moment I heard Like Rats 2009 Demo/EP release they were a band on my radar. The 7 inch that followed next year was even better and once again the band has stepped up with their crushing debut LP. As soon as the opening riff of "Red Dawn" kicks in the band takes no prisoners in their assault, playing a scathing brand of metallic hardcore with every element of the band running in full gear throughout all 9 songs, all the way through to the epic closer "Russian Midnight". The guitarwork especially is some of the best and most memorable I have heard in the genre in what seems like ages, incredible heavy but laced with hooks that you'll find hard to keep out of your head (just check out the ridiculous opening minute of "Bloodline")0. The vocals sound downright vicious and stay constant at a raspy, high pitched scream that brings to mind the raw, unrelenting feel of early black metal, and help to give the entire record a ominous feel of despair, hopelessness, and downright evil. All the while, the band does an astonishing job crafting songs that take the best influences from classic bands such as Entombed, Gehenna and Godflesh (the latter who I am almost certain the band is named after) while still managing to be so much more then simple tribute/worship to said influences. The production is another standout aspect worth mentioning. It's been a while since I've heard a record the manages to maintain it's raw nature while still having an absolutely colossal and crystal clear sound, with absolutely no element of the band sounding muddled and absolutely nothing getting buried in the mix. As far as metallic hardcore goes, this band has the whole package and more, and this marks yet another stellar release from A389 Records and a sure spot in my top 10 this year. Check below for a stream of the opening track "Red Dawn" below as well as a link to preorder the record, which will be shipping out August 23rd. A must listen for all those who worship the riff.