I have not heard a lot from Innerstrength Records in the last few years, but back in the heyday of deathcore/ metalcore I dug some of their releases from the likes of The Storm, Shallow Water Grave,  I Killed Everyone and such, but have not heard anything from them in a while. S0 when I got a promo from them and they drop words like Dying Fetus and Code Orange, my interest is piqued. Even more so when three of the band members are music majors, whatever that’s worth.

So this a pretty throwback sound to that 00s era of skronky, jarring metalcore that to me imbues The Red Chord Uphill Battle and such ( alot of the Black Market Activities label stuff), as well as a good bit of thrash, and yes the highlight of the material is when they do launch into a more Dying Fetus sounding groove or breakdown.  In all it’s pretty solid release, with some thunderous moments and some modern thrash influence mixed in with the stuttering, squealing noise.

It’s short, noisy release, and the members, music majors and all, know their way around their instruments and certainly put that education to use with an ambitious approach to the songwriting that certainly steeped in 00s mathcore/metalcore, but has some cool little other elements. The opener “Grinding Teeth” shows you everything the band offers, with a killer thrash opening and delivers stout, stuttering breakdowns as well. The same for “Dispel”, “Starve” (with some very nifty thrash riffs), “Everything”, more crusty, moodier standout “Myling” and closer “Sacrifice of Forms”.

That said there’s a couple of filler, needless interludes where the dudes get a bit too self indulgently jammy and jazz (“The Fall of Phocys”, “Reflection for Galene”), but on the whole, I like what these guys are offering with a modern thrash injection to a throwback metalcore/mathcore sound.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
March 2nd, 2021


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