Reasons For Unrest
1/13/2009 - Review by: Hail and Kill
When contemplating whose influential shadow Intolerant fall under, one can easily name drop Pantera, Black Label Society without the booze, and Down. So this means Intolerant play Southern Metal, right? Kinda...if you're willing to apply their supposed genre to South East Asia. Southern Metal from South East Asia; specifically the Philippines. Now how does that sound?
Angry. That's how. It's the common denominator heard on eight of the ten songs inside "Reasons For Unrest", the band's indie debut via Solid Shape Records. Discounting an instrumental laced with audio clips from a Charles Manson documentary titled "Santiago" and the lazy mid-tempo closer "Abandoned", 85% of "Reasons..." is one pissed off anthem after another interspersed with schnazzy grooves and soulful vocals. You're tempted to call them Metalcore considering the in-your-face beefiness you're hearing (not to mention Intolerant's profuse thanks to Madball and Earth Crisis in the liner notes), but there's also generous helpings of Thrash, Iron Maiden influenced guitar solos, a hidden alternative rock ballad somewhere past the official running time, rock n' roll, glimmers of the last Machine Head album, even a smidgen of Death Metal...basically a lot of things that mix into a fine sonic cocktail. Metalcore? Not quite.
To give the reader a clear idea of its best cuts, opener "Clenched Fist" starts the whole ride in grand fashion. Think Soulfly, the aforementioned Machine Head, and Lamb of God, then apply said influences to the next five tracks. Vitriolic numbers like "Agenda", "God of War", "My Demise", "Blunt Force Trauma", and the circle pit single "Death Toll Rising" collectively smash your face in; they burst from your speakers and stomp around your room then spank your ass when you least expect it.
The songwriting on the album is also commendable. While most bands are still learning the nuts-and-bolts of composition on their first records, Intolerant already know how to craft muscular tunes with memorable choruses. It all boils down to experience, really, since Intolerant's lineup cut their teeth on a fair number of previous commitments. So they got the writing chops to compliment their music chops—what else? Nice production--meaning "Reasons of Unrest" is a serious investment, a labor of love despite its hateful words. (Try the chorus of "Agenda": "Hey you, the sight of you just sickens me/I really hate, hate the way you look at me/Oh how I wish, I wish I could erase your face/and free you from your misery")
Intolerant aren't perfect—-yet. But they make you wish 99% of the bands starting out today release debuts as strong as theirs. Nasty stuff.
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