Steel Nation
Forever Wounded

This backs up my statement from the Death before Dishonor review, this year has been an absolute landslide in terms of quality releases for metallic hardcore, and what’s more, all kinds of different styled bands have been forging genius works each with their own distinct flavors and traits.

Steel Nation is very much the antithesis of all that’s trendy, current and loved by the hot topic crowd with their “Holy Terror Hardcore”*. You won’t find them supporting Bring me the horizon, having merch supplied by Imperial clothing and they won’t be on blockbuster tours with the latest “sensations,” tickling the kid’s fancy and they will NOT cover atrocious songs to stimulate interest. No, no, no, this is dirty, relentlessly grimy and brutally honest, heartfelt music.

To be honest, you would have smelt it had they delivered anything less. Their Soul Swallower mini CD a few years back hinted that Steel Nation had a monster in the making and Forever Wounded affirms that. The lengthy intro duly sets the tone, peeling out massive beats, massive riffs forged in the Integrity/Ringworm/Cleveland aesthetic, i.e. massive chug, massive impact and a sinister atmosphere dripping from each note. The sound on Forever Wounded is distinctly earthy, even slightly crusty, reminding me somewhat (but just in terms of tone, not style) of Tragedy.

“Prayer for isolation,” is a juicy example of what you’ll find here. Again, emphasis on the chug is paramount here, and here the progression in the vocal department is greatly showcased. Previously they were more sneering and piercing, now they are more of a bellow and gruffer. It suits Steel Nation, and doesn’t detract from their overall impact.

The title track boasts some more interesting aesthetic touches, beginning with solemn plucked notes and solo before kicking in with rallying drums/riff interplay, and then, it kicks in, hard. It’s the album’s longest cut at just under 4 minutes (highly unheard of for hardcore of this nature!) but it keeps moving, shifting smoothly, introducing new sections and transitions effortlessly.

Not a foot is put wrong on this record. The new elements that the band has introduced mesh naturally with their core sound and what’s more, they are mastering the art of writing classic songs that are memorable, enthralling and addictive. If you’re a fan of hardcore, don’t sleep, get on this now.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Benjamin DeBlasi
November 27th, 2009

Comments

  1. Commented by: AARONIUS

    This sounds interesting. I’m a metal dude for the most part but I am a fan of really well done hardcore, I don’t know I guess maybe it’s something about the flat out brutality some of these groups can put out.

    I wonder if anyone here has heard the new album from the band “Advent” It’s called “Naked and Cold”.

    It’s a major departure from their first album (mainly in the sonics department) but holy cow does it slam.

    Really it reminds me of early Naplam Death, but with a slight lean more towards that hardcore sound.

    killer album though.


  2. Commented by: xbenx

    Safe aaronius. Do give this a chance. I got the Advent, slays big time.


  3. Commented by: Nick Taxidermy

    the mention of Integ here piques my interest.


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