Madball
Infiltrate the System

Age certainly, no, definitely hasn’t mellowed Madball, this, their sixth full length hits as hard as any of their back catalogue and sounds just as vibrant and hungry as they did when Set It Off, dropped in 94. Now Madball being Madball, there are zero surprises to be found here, no whinging clean vocals, no staccato riffing, absolutely zero influence from Sweden and seeing as its now all the rage to incorporate death metal into hardcore, none of that either.

In fact, given that the fusion of differing elements to create heavy music is so widespread (unless we are talking about the kvltest, grimmest black metal created in a toilet) it is genuinely refreshing to hear a band that knows its roots so well and knows how to use its existing elements to forge a fresh batch of songs that are invigorating. ‘Legacy,’ already proved that Madball were here to stay, Infiltrate The System, affirms that notion and if anything sounds leaner, meaner and of course (most importantly) tougher then its predecessor. The likes of the opening ‘We The People,’ the crushing ‘Revolt,’ and the rousing ‘Set Me Free,’ are some of the best tracks the band has written, what’s more there is an added heaviness, especially in ‘Revolt,’ which has some of their most sumptuous riffing and plenty of pounding double bass.

Of course one can litigate that the band sounds no different to when they did when ‘Set It Off,’ did hit the streets in the mid 90s and they would have a point. That patented New York groove and Freddy’s vicious bark are what drives the band, makes them addictive or repulsive. Zeuss’s production aids in bringing those massive riffs to the fore, each one resonating with a gorgeous weight, all apparent in the above mentioned tracks, but in others too, especially the mighty ‘Liberty or Death.’

As iterated above Madball aren’t looking to expand their sound they use their tried and trusted elements with effective precision and are successful in achieving their aim, creating a Madball album, but where they have exceeded here is that have created a great Madball album. Well for some that won’t be enough to pull them in because simply if you like the band, you’ll love this album, if you don’t, you won’t, and if you are in the latter grouping, I doubt Madball care.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Benjamin DeBlasi
September 7th, 2007

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