After turning in a more than decent showing with While She Sleeps and Cancer Bats on the road earlier this year, it’s fair to say that the cache of South Carolina five-piece Hundredth has hit an all time high on these shores. Now bolstered by the might of international powerhouse Hopeless Records, a genuinely head-turning record looks to be all that’s keeping the band moving beyond a mere profile boost and from going stratospheric. Unfortunately, ‘Free’ falls short of that ‘modern classic’ benchmark by some distance, yet still delivers all those expected limb flailing metalcore thrills in what is an impressively assured offering.
Fist swinging slabs of anthemic fury are the order of the day here, the high velocity aggression of cuts such as ‘Inside Out’ and ‘Break Free’ encapsulate a level of lunging bile to rival that of any current heavy hitters in the game. Indeed, the record as a whole seems content to revel in this stomp and snarl dynamic, that biting intensity rarely dampened by any sonic curve-balls, although some subtle melodic excursions (‘Daze’) suggest the band to have a bit more creative firepower up their sleeves than they are letting on.
Given that Hundredth‘s career thus far has placed great store in exploring the breath of their sound, it’s difficult to escape the impression that the band could have plundered their box of tricks just a little deeper, yet, as it is, ‘Free’ is anything but straight laced in its approach, and does a admirable job at forging together those abrasive metallicisms and scream along hooks. A sustained barrage of pile on, basement show aesthetic, it may not rank amongst the scene’s contemporary kingpins, yet ‘Free’ is without doubt a viscerally fun outing.
Written by Tony Bliss (@TBliss88)