“Everything is bigger in Texas,” the saying goes. Now, I don’t know about the size of the gentlemen of Texas outfit Die Young, but what I do know is that they are not messing around. As no-nonsense as their message, their newest effort No Illusions (Good Fight Music) starts off swinging a few fists. With their Bolt Thrower-like mix of hardcore and thrash, they take no prisoners.
Before reforming and dropping the record, the band released the single ‘Providence’. In an interview, vocalist Daniel Albaugh said that ‘Providence’ is about preferring a chaotic universe to a universe led by one – sadistic, according to the Old Testament and Albaugh – God. The rest of the record also points to a very anti-theistic message, from the title of the album (No Illusions) to songs like the very sarcastically titled ‘God’s Promises’.
The song Providence itself, in terms of sound, is very reminiscent of a young Hatebreed. Aggressive, no-nonsense, no fancy riffs, just honest hardcore. The slowed-down intro gets the listener amped up for the violence yet to come. With a commanding shout they kick the song into a higher gear, ready to fire up a mean mosh pit.
After ‘Providence’ the album barrels on like a semi-truck, floating between almost Slayer-like thrash and classic Knuckledust-, Blood For Blood-style hardcore. In some songs, like ‘I Repent’, they mix the thumping hardcore backing, with a warp-speed thrash metal shred solo. The two genres go together quite nicely, forming an audio barrage of pure aggression.
However, No Illusions does not really stand out for me. Most of the songs are quite interchangeable, and I have a feeling I’ve heard most of them before. It is a solid record, with solid riffs and a solid sound, but it does not manage to surprise the listener. The songs are good for throwing a beer or two and running into the pit, guns blazing, but it does not really have any memorable hooks or riffs.
SAM C.A. VAN DE LEUR
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