Release Date: November 9, 2010
Label: Strike First Records
- Pale Rose
It isn’t everyday that you hear an album that means so much to so many different people. Hailing from Dallas, Texas Messengers bring their thrashy hardcore debut EP Anthems to Strike First Records. From the moment this record kicks in listeners are reminded of why they love spirit-filled hardcore, the passion, the conviction, the energy, and the honesty of the music. For those tired of the over-produced, double-bass filled predictable hardcore/metalcore that is so popular today Anthems is for you.
From the opening track “Shipwrecked” all the way through the closer “Anthems” Messengers plays their brand of early 90’s hardcore; straight-forward drumming and solid guitar work matched with some seriously powerful vocals. The added reverb effect that is added to the vocals really gives it that throwback feel, but nothing here sounds imitated but more like a respectful nod to bands that we all loved growing up. So many comparisons can be made here, from secular artists like Pantera and many NYHC bands, to throwback spirit-filled hardcore bands like Jesus Wept, Point of Recognition and No Innocent Victim. Today Messengers could easily be found on secular hardcore labels like Revelation and Deathwish, with bands who haven’t compromised their sound for more sales and bigger venues.
Anthems covers plenty of ground throughout the seven tracks, with an obvious hardcore foundation and moments of punk and metal to complete the band’s sound. While the sound is solid, even featuring a few guitar solos, its the vocal delivery and message that really defines Messengers. There is so much heart and conviction when singer Chad delivers lines like “there is a hope that is never failing, with strength unparalleled, but this burden i carry isn’t mine to hold!” you can’t help but want to start stomping in your cubicle and kung-fu kicking the water cooler. The lyrics aren’t just cliche generic crowd-rousing lines either, songs like “Weight” and “Anthems” are motivating and open-minded, a fresh alternative from the angry narcissistic bands that fill out the hardcore genre today. Admitting that one cannot carry the pain and burdens of their life all on their own is not an easy thing to come to recognize, but “Weight” lifts up the downtrodden with commanding gang vocals “But I know who carries me!”
OVERALL This is an excellent start for Messengers and their label Strike First Records. Anthems is going back to the roots of spirit-filled hardcore, potentially filling the void that longtime hardcore fans have been hoping to fill. This EP packs in twenty minutes of passionate hardcore; a shot in the arm for whenever you’re feeling a bit sluggish. Plus it’s got some really cool artwork!