Album Review :
Alove for Enemies - Resistance

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Band: Alove For Enemies
Title: Resistance
Label: Facedown
Release Date: 7/11/06
Review By: Josh IndieVision

Tracklisting:

01. The Resistance
02. Tread On My Dreams
03. Hall Of Mirrors
04. Wishes For The Cloths Of Heaven
05. Call It Faith
06. EC-10
07. Rise Of The Phoenix
08. Not Without Incident
09. Welcome To The Underground
10. Emotion Is Chaos
11. Will Of Father

Members/Duties:

Erich Barto: Vocals
Dan Valentino: Guitars
Matt Addeo: Guitars
Jonathan Hernandez: Drums
Luke Anthony: Bass/Vocals

Alove For Enemies, based out of Long Island, NY have certainly made themselves a figure on the new hardcore scene. Utilizing their midrange speeds and to-the-point lyrics ALFE delivers a punishing blow to ears and hearts alike. With lyrics remiscient of the spirit-filled hardcore era, they rejuvenate this scene along with fellow artists Jesus Wept and No Innocent Victim. “Resistance” is the band’s 2nd full-length release for Facedown and it sees the band building on and sticking true to the same formula used in past releases.

Thankfully the band opted out of the techno-ish intro that opened “The Harvest”. Instead they jump right in with the title track “The Resistance”. The song starts off with some slow chunky guitar work and then picks up the pace for a bit, only again to settle back down to a mid-paced track. ALFE separates themselves from the NYHC crowd, which does come as a surprise being a major part of that scene. They opt for a heavier, fuller sound which allows them to be separated from the pack. The guitar tones & distortion are so thick, yet mold well with bass and drums. Occasionally, the bass does seem to fade out of recognition, but in reality it truly does thicken the pounding you are receiving.

“Hall Of Mirrors” does off the first track that can be two-stepped to, although only for short portions of time. Many of the songs on the album finish off with a epic breakdown which I’m sure will completely destroy the dancefloors. ALFE has a knack for solid, thundering breakdowns and there is no lack of them on “Resistance”. A fewer faster-paced tracks come towards the end of the album (“Not Without Incident”, “Rise Of The Phoenix”) and help keep the album attractive to listeners. The one downfall of this album, and others in ALFE’s catalogue, is a tendency to sound quite similar from song to song. I think with “Resistance” they’ve definitely improved but I would personally like to see a bit more.

The band has stuck to their guns for quite a few years now and some progression can be seen. “Resistance” is by far the hardest, most melodic, and overall best offering yet. Chugging along throughout the album, the band pushes forth, not too slow to be boring and yet at the same time not too fast (think Seventh Star), to deliver their message. Consistency is one characteristic that ALFE displays on each release and for the most part know what you’re going to get….a blow to head and a call to stand strong!

Standout Tracks:

“Tread On My Dreams”, “Call It Faith”, “Rise Of The Phoenix”

Overall Rating: I have been a fan of ALFE for some time now, even before their first label release. I’ve always enjoyed their live show more than their albums until now. I truly enjoy listening to this release and look forward to seeing the new songs live. An intense album for fans of outspoken, in your face, heavy hardcore.

Individual Ratings:

Album Art/Design: Dave Quiggle has created a masterpiece here. Dark and bold, full of meaning it engages the viewer. Hope in the midst of darkness perfectly fits the musical themes. I am consistently looking forward to each new Facedown/Strike First release knowing that I’ll get to enjoy a new piece of the artwork.

Lyrics: Thankfully a band that isn’t afraid to speak about issues of life and Christianity, complete with the boldness which shows their dedication. I’ve always enjoyed this bands strong stand and it hasn’t relented at all on this release. A few topics include hopelessness in this world (“Wishes For The Cloths Of Heaven”), boldness of faith (“EC-10”), and the scene “Not Without Incident”)

Marketability: The genre bending hardcore acts are quite big right now with bands like Bury Your Dead and others receiving lots of airplay. ALFE fits well amongst these bands, but lack the catchiness that others have. Their steadfastness and constant touring certainly do increase the visibility and recognition of the band though. I would assume the release will sell decent and probably will gain them some fans but wont be a huge blowup for them.

Production: The production is good and surely hits you hard with the low end. Nothing too spectacular but well done.

Vocals: Erich’s harsh vocals are unique and pretty much stay in the same vein as past ALFE releases. Some clean vocals are used sporatically, but thankfully are not overdone.

Similar To: Seventh Star, Most Precious Blood

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