01. The Great Red Shift 02. Collusionist 03. Quiet Pattern 04. Growing Square Eyes 05. Your Picture Hung Itself 06. Funeral Photography 07. Life During Wartime 08. Why Hyenas Laugh 09. So Typical My Heart 10. It Runs In The Blood 11. Closure2003 Trustkill Records
The much-missed presence of Justin and Rachel’s springboard in the hardcore scene was evident when nearly all of Indecision’s fans gobbled up the hectic debut album “Nothing In Vain” by Most Precious Blood, arriving just two years after Indecision’s excellent final offering-to-be “Release The Cure” (helped in no small part by their eye-opening performance at Hellfest 2001). Ironically it was at that same show that Rob Fusco unexpectedly announced One King Down’s breakup. Easily one of the most memorable, intense, and poetic frontmen to ever set foot in the hardcore scene, his talent was underexposed due to his only tracked effort in the decade -the decisive "Bloodlust Revenge" release on Equal Vision. And while he left the band during the recording of their debut full-length "God Loves, Man Kills" (which did feature an impressive Jon Peters vocal and lyrical performance), Fusco was sorely missed both on and offstage. Little did I know that it would take so long for him to finally return to his old haunt of the hardcore scene in full capacity, but it did. Despite some decent releases such as the "Gravity Wins Again" EP and the split 7” with Brother's Keeper, where One King Down covered Slayer’s "Spill The Blood," they were just meant to tide over the fans until a new album came, which it never did. Until now; only with Most Precious Blood as his band - a Most Precious Blood vastly different than the effective, albeit tinny debut album which they served to us two years ago. Not only has Rob Fusco’s imposing character steered the band in a much darker direction conceptually, but be it or not a coincidence, the band has clearly turned to metal for many of their ideas on "Our Lady of Annihilation." Deconstruct any notions of the familiar sound that Most Precious Blood and Indecision once embodied and shared. To such a degree that their traditional sound has changed that this album could fall under a different band name and few would cross-reference it with the Most Precious Blood we have grown used to as an extension of Indecision. On this album, they have finally found the type of sound that will make waves outside the hardcore scene for once, and this can’t be a bad thing for a group of veterans who were highly influential in the foundations they laid for hardcore in the nineties and whose inspiration is being heard in a large degree of bands coming out today. What was once merely a metallic undercurrent of Most Precious Blood’s music has become their calling card. With drummer Sean McCann’s first-time recording with the band, that he played live with since their beginnings, this album is not only punchy but pounding, a characteristic new to Most Precious Blood. The traditional heavy metal influence comes in part from the Black Sabbath overtones, such as "Funeral Photography"’s main riff being identical to "Children Of The Grave" by Sabbath, and the classic Slayer riff found in the verse of "Growing Square Eyes." Discordant guitar tones permeate each track which contribute to the ruthless approach that Most Precious Blood now take. And although Rachel and Justin still deliver their famously buzzing riffs in "Your Picture Hung Itself," much of the fluff that once dragged down the force of their songs has been removed and replaced with either more powerful, Fusco-highlited breakdowns or simply removed altogether for a concise approach not unlike The Promise, Terror, or modern day The Hope Conspiracy. Bottom Line: No one could have prepared for the greatness that Most Precious Blood dispense with "Our Lady of Annihilation." The best has indeed been saved for last in 2003 as this album could possibly be the most outstanding hardcore album to be released all year, dethroning whatever Bridge 9 or Deathwish Inc. release you thought would make it to the finish line, with no disrespect to those leading record labels. The addition of former One King Down frontman Rob Fusco has not only revitalized Most Precious Blood, it reinvented them. Rather than be completely outshined by his striking performance, the band matches him with similar frantic intensity and a potent injection of heavy metal. The cherry on top comes in the form of Sick Of It All’s Lou Koller lending his legendary vocals to the second verse of "So Typical My Heart." A tremendous Dean Baltulonis production job frames the band’s sound to such staggering proportions that "Our Lady of Annihilation" is bound to become a rare, modern hardcore classic.