AlbumsNovember 29, 201114,093 views

The Promise Believer

01. The Kiss Off 02. Washed Up 03. Comeback 04. Believer 05. Tempered 06. Dead Man's Band 07. The Unwanted 08. Pity For None 09. No Heroes 10. Eyes Wide Shut 11. What I Have 12. No Way Out 13. Gone Sour
2002 Indecision Records
Our score 9

by Cory

To many fans of traditional hardcore, the last few years have felt like a long, dark winter. Bands who lived by and sang about the ideals upon which hardcore were created have dwindled and of those that remain, many seem to have lost their poignancy. Rising from the ashes of some of the greatest and most influential hardcore bands (Another Victim, Earth Crisis, Turmoil, One King Down) comes the Promise, a band making it abundantly clear that hardcore never went anywhere for the true believers. An uncompromising assault on the state of hardcore and the politics of scenes, "Believer" is an entirely overdue wake-up call to the new generation as well as the old, a reminder of what it means to live your life according to the truths you hold in your heart. From the opening "Fuck you" of the disc's first track, the Promise lets the listener know what to expect: Straight edge hardcore, the way it was meant to be. Fast-paced, pissed-off and devoted to a drug-free lifestyle, the Promise bring an intensity to the table that has been severely lacking as of late in the hardcore community. In a time where what a band stands for has come to mean less to many than how good their hair looks on stage, songs like "Comeback" put these so-called fashion-core bands in their place: "Star eyed front men with nothing to say/Blood exchanged for stylish clothes... Guts replaced with clever quotes." While these lyrics are sure to bother a lot of kids in Steve Madden shoes and little boys' t-shirts, the band honestly doesn't care. As the band says in their personal statement, "Success" goes far beyond monetary status and acceptance in a world of impostors and trends." In addition to commenting on hardcore in general, "Believer" also makes a statement about personal dedication to straight edge. Unlike many straight edge bands, however the lyrics are written in a manner that apply to everyone, edge or not, because they are about living one's life for oneself. Musically, the Promise are also a breath of fresh air. The combination of early Victory-style hardcore with innovative guitar work compliments the powerful vocals perfectly. By placing well written but not overly complicated guitar riffs into chord progressions that manage to sound original without being needlessly confusing, the Promise have crafted a testament to the vitality of traditional hardcore. It would be insulting to call this record "no frills," but most of the musical embellishments stay wisely out of the spotlight and let Anderson Bradshaw's voice drive the songs. Rather than fitting the vocals into the music, as many bands seem to do, the songs' structures feel as if they were built around the sheer intensity of the vocals. Bottom Line: While I would like to believe that this record is for everyone, that is most likely just wishful thinking. Fans of technical metal-core will most likely be disappointed with the band's more straightforward approach, musically and lyrically. The Promise doesn't beat around the bush; they beat the hell out of it. There are no instrumental interludes or instances of subtle wordplay to be found on "Believer," just a little under a half hour of unwavering honesty and devotion. While it might be a bit early to call the Promise the "redeemers of hardcore," they are certainly proof that there are some who never lost their dedication.

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sovereigncomfort_ 10/15/2006 8:23:06 PM

this shit is hot like FIYARRRRRRRRRRRR