TheFiendThis Newcastle band has been around for 30 years it seems but releases are scarce to say the least as this is only the second full length out and was released during 2014 but has been picked up Candlelight to garner fresh ears and maybe cash in on the resurging thrash / hardcore scene where genre boundaries have been blurred completely. The Fiend know exactly how to shovel massive amounts of razor like guitar riffing on top of a barraging rhythm section that whilst not the most technical I’ve ever heard does the job as each snare stroke feels like a loaded nail gun firing against the head. After the intro piece the album rockets into life with the title track, a rampaging affront on the senses with hardcore attitude and thrash speed acting like conjoined twins.

The bands style owes quite a bit to the New York way of doings things with Sick Of It All and Madball being firm reference points. However The Fiend are their own; they may have the swagger of muscular chest beating nihilism but also possess enough aptitude to revel in their own artistic violence with “Your Town Will Burn Tonight” offering a structure that is hardcore vitriol but also utilises a thrashcore stance. “Bring Out Your Dead” uses Python’s sketch to start it but is quickly rendered obsolete by the rabid tune once under way. I really enjoyed the riffs on this release as they remind me of my youth listening to bands like Agnostic Front, D.R.I and Minor Threat. The thrash references are subtle and most thrashers would probably ignore this as hardcore through and through but that would be a shallow approach as “Death From Within” builds into a blistering song with plenty for thrash fans to get into. The mid section is prime time slamming moshiness and coupled to the hypersonic speed this tune will kill live.

Purist hardcore on “The More You look” where blazing speed and double kick create an incendiary assault with napalm riff splashes covering the listener. Also awesome is “Fuck It” (well it had to be with that title didn’t it) another rocketing smash and grab song that possesses a maniacal but controlled pace alongside the gang chanted vocals. Continuing the sonic terror is “Dig Your Own Grave” which has one of the best starts in a hardcore tune I’ve heard for a long while where scything aggression is honed to murderous perfection and like some of the newer acts in hardcore like Coke Bust on their slower moments. Hardcore is like this, not the metalcore bollocks that masquerades as the genre with weak guitar riffs where more thought goes into the hair styles than the music. None of your kung fu kicking tantrums or the stupid crowd killing shit that has infected some hardcore and slam scenes; this is UK hardcore, nasty, aggressive and fucking pissed off at everything. Buy it.

(8.5/10 Martin Harris)