Judgement Day, the American Straightedge Hardcore from SoCal is back with an ep showing a much more muscular sound than on their demo and shifting toward slower brand of metalcore from the metal-influence hardcore on their demo.
Around six years ago, I reviewed the demo from JudgementXDay and thought a lot of what I heard had a lot of promise, but then I never really heard anything after that, so seeing this come across my desk, made me go back to the demo. Since the demo, the band had released a full length in 2016, The Altar, and the sound there serves as a good intermediate between the demo and this ep. The sound this time around is much heavier, even slower and sort of sludgy at times, which contrasts quite a bit from the faster demo and The Altar from several years ago. This time around the ep was recorded and mixed by Taylor Young (Nails, Twitching Tongues) at The Pit Studios, Van Nuys, California and mastered by Audiosiege, Portland, Oregon.
As on their demo, the band bring in some vocal assistance on one track from a band many know from Facedown Records, this time Brook Reeves from Impending Doom. “Tomb” starts out with a heavy, slow riff, more akin to deathcore than hardcore and Levi Lehman’s vocals this time around while delivered in a similar manner as on the demo and The Altar are far stronger and deeper, carrying an air of menace, while on the earlier recordings, they had a cleaner, higher tone reminiscent of Eddie from the NYHC band Leeway. Brook Reeve’s vocals fit nicely within the mix and the song moves with a pummeling, relentless pace that would inspire a lot of hardcore pit moves.
“Rise to Fall” from a pace perspective is more like the demo and The Altar, and there is a nice break with drums and bass line to add some contrast to the heavy riffs and the requisite breakdown that closes out the song. In contrast, “The Master” reverts to the slower, grinding heaviness found on “Tomb” and we get a chance to hear Steven Crosmer’s fast double bass drum work throughout much of the song adding the element of speed to the otherwise slow main riff during the verse sections.
It’s always interesting to see what routes bands end up taking with their sound and Judgement Day have chosen well. Heavy guitar riffs, powerful menacing vocals, and a solid rhythm section tying it all together makes one want to hear more from the band.
Written by John Jackson
- Tomb (feat. Brooke Reeves, Impending Doom)
- Rise to Fall
- The Master
Levi “Godfather” Lehman-Vocals
Estaban Baena – Guitar
Steven Crosmer – Drums
Release Date: March 23th. 2019
Record Label: Made in the USA/On The Attack Records (Thumper Punk Records), 2020