In Honor – “Foundations” EP


Foundations EPI think in the last while there has been a surge of metal-core and hardcore bands to chose from. The thing is with that, it becomes harder to find ‘that’ band that perhaps has an x-factor attached to it, not referring to the lame T.V. show. Hardcore has certainly kicked and screamed its way to the top of the modern music mountain of popularity. It has in many respects paid its due, and deserves the popularity it is getting now. Its certainly by no means like the hardcore I grew up too, it has morphed and shaped itself over the years, and today’s hardcore is honestly a hybrid of it in many ways. Like metal-core a lot of it sounds the same today, and I think more than in the past there are specific dance moves now also associated with it, some that truly make me cringe when I see those moves performed on a dance floor or in a pit. I am like dude, back in my days you would have been pounded for that retarded dance movement. It just how it is, and like with most things, they do change over a period of time, some for the worse and some for the best. So without me ranting further on the comparatives of past and now hardcore, let me introduce you to a band I came across a couple weeks back that have a EP out that I think is review worthy.

The name of the band is IN HONOR, best described in their own words as “a spirit filled heavy band from Lawton, Oklahoma”. The EP under discussion is named, “Foundations” which is a relentless guitar thrashing, drum pounding burst of musical power. There maybe some of the usual cliche riffs, vocal edge of a lot of other hardcore or metal-core type bands, and usually I get stuck right there, but I don’t know, there is a certain energy that just oozes regardless, and the tone of the guitars lend it to its own originality. The vocals are brought energetically, they are brutal, and seem to be a by product of the conviction of delivery.

I think the overall sound of In Honor is one best set to a live performance, that said, if I can pick that up from the EP, then there must be in essence something of the live energy that penetrates through the EP. I think there is good synergy amongst the band members which helps sell the conviction and overall delivery of the songs. Yes, some the songs run very similar in sound from each other…but on an EP like this and setting the foundation of their sound, that is not a bad thing at all. The band members are Richard Bowen – Guitar, Caleb Cephas – Bass, Kevyn Reece – Vocals, Zaq Thomas – Drums. These guys are unsigned, but somebody needs to pick these guys up.

In the heaviness they have a certain melodic edge, they are not all shouts, and jugg-jugg riffs, and they don’t have overplayed intro’s, they just get down to business, something that caught my attention on first listen. They blend metal-core and hardcore together to a satisfying blend that never stagnates or goes sour. The vocals rage with passion, delivering formidable amounts of energy and strength that together with the melodic aggressions of the music drives a powerful encounter of the hardcore kind.

The relentless thrashings begin with “Haunted”, bursting with technical ravagings it blasts the EP into a good start with deliberate and passionate intent. Like I said, I am not a metal-core fan, and on more than one occasion I have fundamentally stood against all things remotely metal-core. Today I think there is some recanting on my stance towards metal-core, as In Honor whips hard and sure with their unique blend of metal-core meets hardcore power blend. The energy just draws you in. Vocal command on“Haunted” , is left in the capable hands of Kevyn Reece with guest vocals by Ethan Blasdel (Thought Crime). The vocals rage strong and passionate complimenting the raging riffs with skill. Drummer, Zaq Thomas is tight on the rythem, and keeps the beats full and strong in combat fashion. Caleb Cephas on bass helps hold things together with his bellowing bass lines which are at times perhaps a little low in the mix, considering the level of aggression the songs have – guys pump up the bass a bit more next time, it will add to the aggression and energy of which there is ample. I think “Haunted” for me is the albums strongest track, and hits its highest point there, though it does not trudge over the rest, as the other tracks are equally as verdant and addictive in their own right.

“Foundations” the title track is a powerful and passionately delivered song that bruises with merciless energy. It sets alight with intent and melodic drive. It has a sledge hammer type beat, driving the addictive onslaught with raw uncensored ferocity. Josiah Lyle (Mouth of the South) guests on vocals.

The EP closes the curtains with “Widow” featuring Jose Rodriguez (Valleys) (Do check the band, Valleys, another great hardcore band) which is a powerful mix of metal-core and hardcore, some great melodic riffs with its penetrating groove-delicious energized passion delivers to me a great end to a fantastic EP. The opening track and closing track are by far the two songs that set the mold on what in no other words, an explosive mouth-piece of modern day hardcore. Though some of the songs my lack diversity, they all have a beastly fashion about them.

Conclusion, “Foundations EP” is a great reflection and mouth-piece of what modern day hardcore should sound like/ sounds like. There is still a lot of room for them to grow and evolve, and hopefully this is a strong platform of things to come. “Foundations EP” certainly casts In Honor as well on their journey to creating music which thrills and satisfies.

Rating: 7.5/10

Review by Donovan de Necker

Track list:
1 – Haunted ft. Ethan Blasdel (Thought Crime)
2 – Defiance
3 – Foundations ft. Josiah Lyle (Mouth of the South)
4 – Framed
5 – Widow ft. Jose Rodriguez (Valleys)

Band Members:
Richard Bowen – Guitar
Caleb Cephas – Bass
Kevyn Reece – Vocals
Zaq Thomas – Drums

Record Label: Independent, 2013

Weblinks: Facebook / Twitter / Bandcamp

Buy the album here:
Holland: First Paradox
Norway: Nordic Mission
USA: Metal Helm

Video below for ‘Haunted’ feat. Ethan Blasdel of Thought Crime

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