Album Review :
Gideon - Calloused

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Band: Gideon
Album: Calloused
Label: Facedown Records
Release: 10.14.14
Reviewer: Brody B
Tracklisting:

  1. Calloused
  2. Savage
  3. Survive
  4. Expose
  5. World of Hurt
  6. The Limit
  7. The Pulse
  8. Prison Eyes
  9. Momentum
  10. Drifter

Grab your mesh shorts, don your muscle tee, and lace up your trainers because Gideon’s newest effort, “Calloused”, is a collection of some of the most driving and intense gym jams of the year. From beginning to end, the band’s third record on Facedown Records stomps on the gas and refuses to let up.

The title track opens things up, showing the band branching out a bit from their past melodic hardcore sound with the inclusion of some nu-metal pitch shifts and bass led pit callouts. This is still obviously the Gideon we all know and love however. The gang vocal mechanic works incredibly well to make the chorus seem all the most forceful and driving.

Savage is a personal favorite of mine. The unrelenting energy of the song is simply crushing and makes you just want to run, punch, and windmill kick – a combination sure to make for frenzied live atmospheres. While the lyrics are not the most intellectual on the track, vocalist Dan McWhorter growls, “Blood, sweat, drive. Do you have what it takes to survive?” in such a way I feel as though I could lift a bus above my head as the delectably destructive breakdown in the background brings to mind Michael Bay explosions (We all have to agree his special effects are amazing, right?).

The confident swagger of the main riff driving Survive is undeniable. The racious riff carries the track through the ebb and flow of anthemic choruses and a pleasantly lengthy guest vocal section from Beartooth’s own Caleb Shomo. Closing out the track is brain rattling headbanger of a breakdown featuring a plethora of glitchy guitar tones to add some Hatebread flavor.

Expose finds Dan McWhorter performing a standout vocal performance. On this revved up, circle pit inducing jam, McWhorter varies his delivery approach several times. Beginning with his traditional in-your-face signature rough tones, he weaves in and out of blistering speeds to nearly spoken word pacing and back with apparent ease.

World of Hurt is one of the most proficient tracks musically on the album. Drummer, Jake Smelley lays down the foundation of the track with continually varied and sporadic beats, which keeps things interesting and refreshing. Guitarists Daniel McCartney and Tyler Riley find a great balance between dark, menacing riffs and steroid injected riffage.

Potentially the most “mainstream” sounding song on the record, The Limit is a personal favorite of mine. While perhaps to it’s detriment in the eyes of elitist hardcore fans, the infectious chorus is the highlight of the track for me. The way the guitars stay heavy, yet melodic behind the singing sends the chorus to soaring heights. However, The Limit is not a pushover track, and crushing breakdowns and even a guitar solo keep things from getting to light.

After the instrumental track, The Pulse, I felt as though things noticeably slowed down. Sure there are shining moments in the album such as pleasant solo at the end of Prison Eyes or the pick sliding during a breakdown found in Drifter, but I felt the song quality largely dropped off after The Pulse which unfortunately leaves the fairly solid album to peter out towards it’s conclusion.

Overall: Gideon have created an album packed to the rafters with energy and passion in “Calloused”. While the album does not bring anything new to the table or turn the genre on it’s head, Gideon have made an extremely fun album full of tracks that will bring out the Hulk Hogan in all of us.

RIYL: Colossus | For Today | The Ghost Inside | Beartooth | Mouth of the South

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