Review: “Vendetta” by Lastbreath

Now in their fifth year together, Lastbreath was formed from the ashes of local Hardcore bands Gold Kids, Stigmalized and Riflesso back in 2017 in Cagliari, on the South Side of Sardinia, Italy. Vocalist Matteo Montis, guitarist Leonardo Lantini, bassist Mirko Pistidda and drummer Mirco Melis took a DIY or DIE approach and released their first work “Thousand Traitors” in the summer of 2019. That was followed in October 2020 with a split EP titled “Values Never Die” with Earthfall which saw release via UK label Mark My Words Records and now, after live shows in Italy including Pescara Hardcore Fest, they’re ready to go again with their debut full length…

…having spent two years incarcerated in their own homes the splinters of pure Hardcore fury that fly from Lastbreath kicking down the door and making an exist shouldn’t be underestimated. Their discontent are echoed in a collection of news samples at the start of “Truth’s Circle“, a vicious little ditty that punches the wall in pure frustration at the current state of World address and screams “No!” alongside Montis who in that moment confirms the fire burns bright within the bands soul still. Setting the tone perfectly, the opening cut bleeds into “Number”, a short fast one of Hardcore Punk energy with a Metallic edge reminiscent of the work of acts like Cro-Mags or Biohazard, the raw and abrasive guitar tone chosen to allow the bass to bleed through in the mix, giving it late 80s and early 90’s genre vibes. Reinforcing that approach “Hard Strife“, starts off at a breakneck pace before slowing progressively to a downtempo crawl but not before a Igor Cavalera style tribal drum fill and a surprise solo. The Metal references in Lastbreath’s brand of Hardcore are hidden in plain sight, something that makes it an absolute pleasure. A pick slide brings in “Glory” and is a Chef’s Kiss moment on a mid tempo chugger with a message as it that calls for change, Montis’s gravelly tones perfectly suited to the style. After that moment of blunt force trauma, “Keep Talking” and “The Last Round” flip the script entirely as short, fast and fun bursts of Hardcore Punk to set off mosh pits with hints at influences from the likes of Deez Nuts or Madball.

The fun doesn’t however distract from the message as there a moments that speak of divisions in society, the need to get rid of racism and fascism while at the same time breaking the chains of the dullness of being human in a rat race of daily grind that drains the life force. “Lions From 90’s” slaps hard with razor sharp riffs, the gang chanted chorus parts festival worthy as the band deliver another gut punch, their ability to drop the pace into a solid groove while keeping all the energy confirming their credentials. There are also times during the record when Lastbreath remind of the time that Soulfly covered cuts like “Ain’t No Feeble Bastard” by Discharge, going fast, heavy and raw with Montis having a similarly abrasive vocal tone to Max Cavalera. That works best on cuts like “CAHC Part II” and “When I Die” as the band find the perfect balance between Metal, Hardcore and Punk to create some fun cuts which sound like they just turned up, sank a beer and ripped through the tracks in their rehearsal space. One take, fast and loose. Perhaps the biggest surprise of the album is the title track, a slow burning instrumental that sets the cat amongst the pigeons. A solid cut it ends up feeling like an introduction piece to the the albums finest moment “My Brother’s Keeper“, a powerhouse that sums up the album in one swift sucker punch to the face with grit and integrity. This is Hardcore with a weight and gravity to it, making it vital for the modern genre… [7.5/10]

Track Listing

1. Truth’s Circle
2. Number
3. Hard Strife
4. Glory
5. Keep Talking
6. The Last Round
7. Strays
8. No Compassion
9. Lions from 90’s
10. CAHC Part II
11. While I Die
12. Vendetta
13. My Brother’s Keeper

Vendetta” by Lastbreath is out 24th October 2022 via Time To Kill Records and is available for pre-order over at bandcamp.

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