Recorded with Evan Sammons (The Contortionist, Kaonashi), who produced, mixed and mastered the follow up to 2018’s debut EP “Suffer” has arrived with a certain weight of expectation on the shoulders of Bangor, Maine Hardcore quartet War Criminal, such is the quality of their previous work and the reputation of the band for their live performances. Lyrically “God Failed Me” is a dark affair, exploring themes of around different aspects of depression and hiding your true emotions, of wanting to believe in God but resenting that desire in the light of negative experiences and daily hardships.
The two step worthy instrumental introduction piece “113” sets the tone that something wicked comes this way with a classic 90’s Hardcore feel before the burst of raging Hardcore Punk that is “False Hope” rips through the parade like a Tasmanian Devil, destroying all in its path. Lyrically the title track of the release it sees the slow turn to insanity with swirling thoughts of mental anguish, calling out to a God that doesn’t answer and only provides wrath in the form of hardship. Biting harder with Metallic Hardcore riffs galore “No Way Out” comes out swinging with some David Gunn esq vocal stylings during the onslaught. The grit and integrity of the lyrics is felt in the vocal delivery, this is real pain, this is real blood, spilled in real mud. “Smile Lines” continues that early King 810 vocal vibe with savage barks and bites during another circle pit worthy instrumental cut with lines like “being born was a curse” to sink your teeth into but the relentless, breathless vent of “Unforgiving” that is the upper cut of this fight. A song that clearly has a name, it’s a constant stream of manic violent thoughts that goes for the jugular and doesn’t let go until the bitter end with a classy down tempo shift that delivers a seriously weighty crush [8/10]
No Way Out
“God Failed Me” by War Criminal is out 16th December with pre-orders available over at bandcamp