Born From Pain
Survival

It’s all in the name. Survival’s predecessor War, was bathed in a rugged, omnipotent glow, each piece striving forth like an all encompassing, battle scarred and therefore battle hardened piece of war machinery that was ready for yet another bout of onslaughts. Survival, as the title connotes, is fervently desperate, this time each piece zips by urgently, driven more by speed then girth. Each element conforms to this new strategy and shows that whilst Born from Pain may be your atypical hardcore to most discerning readers, the truth is they are from average and far from typical. Very few bands these days reach their fifth record, even fewer manage to do so without churning out garbage.

Quality therefore, and detail has always been a hallmark of their compositions and again, the more discerning would have been quick to write the band off as a mere Hatebreed wannabe, where as the more careful listener would have traced the band’s initial influences closer to more obscure sources. What’s more, with this record, the distance between them and the H word has grown even further, but with that, some of the appeal that made Born from Pain so gleefully enjoyable has dissipated also.

The biggest development that demonstrates this stands in the vocal department, where Che’s earthy bellow has been replaced by returning former bassist now vocalist Rob Franssen’s rasping sneer. With that, the band’s sound has been bought in to match this development, such as the soaring riff that leads ‘Never Die,’ in here, Franssen’s voice textures the passage suitably whereas it would have been suffocated by Che’s roar. The sound of the band is on the whole far more measured, whilst the songs are quicker in pace, the lack of crushing impact that could be felt on earlier gem’s such as ‘Final Nail,’ ‘Here Lies Civilization,’ ‘Stop at nothing,’ etc begins to become apparent as the record strives on.

Whilst far from being a bad record, Survival, is ultimately a state of transition, as if the band is openly admitting that they are looking to survive themselves and keep the momentum going. What goes against them, and this is a recurring discourse, is of course their past. It’s hard not to yearn for the classic BFP sound that made them a staple in European hardcore, what’s encouraging though is that they have shown they can bring in with abject ease new ideas and influences, if they can find a more acute balance between the old and new next time, then they will ascend back to the zenith of the Eurocore food chain.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Benjamin DeBlasi
February 2nd, 2009

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