California hardcore band First Blood follow-up their previous two albums (‘Killafornia’ and ‘Silence Is Betrayal’) with ‘Rules’; 12 brand new tracks that have the word “Rules” in the title of each song. Formed in 2002, they’re not quiet in coming forward, having made a big impact and supporting more established acts from the start. Their successful start is partly due the experience of the band members’ previous bands. This new offering is powerful, aggressive and downright angry, as if an army sergeant had set up a gig for your first day of training.
We’re not so much eased into the album by the first track, ‘Fuck The Rules’, but more hung out the window by the feet to the sound of a chorus of rules. A head on crash straight into the next song ‘These Are The Rules’, there’ no let up until midway through the track, which slows up to take a quick breath. The heavy beats on the drums and the deep bass are a constant reminder that you aren’t drifting off anywhere while they’re playing, and the vocals verge on the edge of pain spitting every word with a vengeance.
‘Rules Of Conviction’ starts with a more isolated vocal over the guitar. This slowly builds to a crescendo of metal assaulting your inner ear. The piano on ‘Rules Of Justice’ is slow and methodical, playing behind a speech describing how the world has failed its children – a quiet statement that is then taken over by a hail of bullets from Carl Schwartz‘s vocal chords.
We come to an end with a very informative track about human tragedy. ‘Rules Of Crisis’ is often sad, often angry, but always soothingly powerful to the distant ending.
First Blood share their protests, energy, and anger on ‘Rules’. They make no mistake in hitting the target with the fast deep sound that the devil would play on his mp3 player. The album is intercut with statements delivering a message to those who will listen; the content is as heavy as the music, which reaches the core like landmine on a stroll.
Written by Kami Provan (@kami2311)