Death Before Dishonor
Better Ways to Die

Like death metal, if you’re into metallic hardcore, you’ve been pretty spoiled this year, what with various amazing comebacks (Earth Crisis, Kickback, Merauder), the underground churning out a plentiful amount of high quality releases (a lot you will probably not know) and even the genre’s principal mainstream standard bearer (yes, Hatebreed) coming back with a pretty stoic, enjoyable album. Death before Dishonor, likewise have dropped another fine piece of plastic into their discography, but it’s one that sees them moving further aware from their “tuffer” origins.

In fact when DBD signed with B9 a few years back, it didn’t make sense to me. DBD’s no frills and hard as nails approach just didn’t fit with B9’s “cleaner,” roster, the only link between the two entities was their location (Boston in the US). However, with each release DBD and B9 seem to meld more and more closely together, and this hasn’t come from the former diluting their sound, far from it, it’s certainly not as overly metallic as it once was, but it’s not exactly pure youth crew either.

Better Ways to Die, bursts forth with “Peace & Quiet.” Lead by a ripping guitar solo, it whips quickly into a rousing sing a long, bound to get the two steppers strutting their stuff on the dance floor, itching to grab the mic. “Remember,” follows moodily, with a solemn, almost eerie lead riff that lingers and breathes with menace, it gives way to fast beats and delicate (!!) picking before giving way to more melody in the form of “whoa oh,” backing vocals.

Incredible, completely new ground for the band and yet so, so natural, they though, haven’t forgot to write hard, hard riffs, “Coffin Nail,” is lead by a storming riff, hard as its namesake, completely rousing and storming, accompanied by bitter, frank lyrics (“You stick that coffin nails into your veins…”) “Boys in Blue,” again has a dirty lead riff dipped in bile, swinging and biting venomously, there is one of the album’s harder breaks towards the track’s conclusion, digging resolutely and layering on the chug. Later tracks such as “Bloodlust” fuse the newer ingredients laid down by DBD with their former approach, thus continuing to create a rousing, blood pumping racket that will get you moving.

To be honest, when I first came across DBD on their first release, I didn’t think they would stick around long, yet, not only did they not just prove me wrong, they have proved that they have the talent and the drive to forge a career as prosperous and fulfilling as peers such as Sick of it All and Madball.

Raise your glasses to their warrior classes forever more, these cats are here for the long haul.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Benjamin DeBlasi
November 10th, 2009

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