Album Review :
Altars - Opposition

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Band: Altars
Release: Opposition
Label: Strike First Records
Release Date: July 19, 2011

TrackListing

  1. We Are Opposition
  2. Advocate
  3. Severance
  4. The Struggler
  5. Heresy
  6. Volition

Fresh off signing with Strike First Records, Colorado Springs metallic hardcore act Altars (formerly Monuments) releases a 6-track album titled Opposition. Technically its only 5 tracks with an instrumental intro, which probably makes it an EP, but Facedown / Strike First have been releasing shorter albums lately so we’ll call this an album as well.

Altars have not been together more than a few months but have already begun to make a name for themselves touring relentlessly and playing with some pretty big bands (As I Lay Dying, Cornerstone…). Opposition is a fifteen-minute blast of quality hardcore, posi-core mostly, in the vein of Venia or The Ghost Inside, but there are also spiritual elements as well. Although the album is short it does take a few moments to really get going, the opening track “Advocate” (after the intro song) starts off with some half-time low-end chugs, while singer Mike Searle growls “Who do you think you are?!” What feels like metalcore soon gives way to fast hardcore drumming and gang vocals. From this moment on Opposition never lets up and never slows down.

“Advocate”, featuring guest vocals from Chad Ruhlig of Legend and ex-For The Fallen Dreams, makes a stand against negativity “This hate means nothing to me, it’s just pure negativity… The Grace is all I need.” Similar moments of hope arise throughout the album, “Severance” is a back-and-forth dialogue between negative / positive stances “Can you not see the hope that lies ahead? Your sight is stuck in the here-and-now.” “The Struggler” is another heavy track that talks about the despair all around and our culture’s way of building physical barriers. The theme throughout Opposition is pretty straight-forward, we as Christians need to be the opposition to negativity and hopelessness. The closing track “Volition” lays it out boldly “He gave His life, now give Him yours!”

OVERALL Altars bring a veteran sound to the Stike First label, Opposition is heavy and fast-paced, great breakdowns and even a few, as people nowadays call them, wall-to-walls (especially on “Volition”!). Hardcore fans will love the breakdowns and gang vocals while metalcore fans will be pleased that the guitar-work is much more technical than most straight-up hardcore bands. Opposition is a powerful, passionate release, something to slap you in the face and wake you up in the morning!

RIYL: Venia, The Ghost Inside, For Today, Hundredth

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