Thursday, 23 February 2012

The Hardest Season - Dawn


The Hardest Season are a five piece hardcore band from Rome, Italy. Dawn is their latest release, which you can get via Enjoyment Records.


After the feedback-ridden intro to first track Confession, things kick in with an angry, heavy form of hardcore. The Hardest Season's brand of hardcore has a decent metallic
edge to it, and the rasping, low screams of vocalist Luca, certainly has plenty of bile.

The album continues along the same track throughout, with fast, angry metallic hardcore, frenetic drumming and driving guitars. THS do weave in some cool changes of pace, which build atmosphere. The songs actually have a cool, punky undertone to them as well. I'm also a sucker for the slower parts, where they take things to dirge induced pace for short periods of the song, especially in the case of second track Dead Romantic, which seems like they are taking their cues from some of the UK's current crop of dark, hardcore bands.

The production of the record is also spot-on. All the instruments and vocals are clear, but the sound that is created is a dirty, organic sound that fits the music perfectly.
This stuff would be great live, and I can't wait to see if they come over to the UK to play! THS fit in some short, sharp songs that show their immediacy, in the case of songs like Sleepless and The Storm. Fifth song Tears Valley Sickness Blues, is a fine example, lasting under a minute and absolutely shredding!

Sixth song, The Foreword starts with some really nice clean picked guitar alongside some spoken work samples, before launching into a more melodic strand of instrumental hardcore. I've said this many time before, but I like the use of gang vocals, especially in the penultimate song Twentyeight To Ten and I can see plenty of people shouting along to them at live shows.

Final song Last Fucking Scarred Lines, begins with vocalist Luca, screaming into the mic for the first four bars, with no backing music. This is a stark reminder of just how angry this record sounds.

The ten songs displayed on Dawn, are my first introduction to The Hardest Season, and I'm glad that they are, as they're an impressive take on the current metallic hardcore formula. Angry and desolate yet uplifting and meaningful. The instrumentation is simple and very effective and for someone like me, who listens to a lot of heavy, forward thinking hardcore, it's a pleasure to listen to a band that aren't just copying the masses.

This is dark, negative hardcore but it sounds perfect in front of today’s current backdrop of economical difficulties and global strife. The emotion that is displayed in those deep screams, every beat of the drums and strum of the guitars show a band doing this for the right reasons. Not pandering to the masses and playing music with conviction and heart.

Make sure you check out The Hardest Season on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/TheHardestSeason, where you can listen to two tracks from Dawn, Dead Romantic and Nightmare Of You, which also feature Daniele from Hope Dies Last.

If you like what you hear, go and visit the Enjoyment Records online store at http://enjoymentrecords.bigcartel.com/ and buy the album!

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