Bursting out of Frederick, Maryland are post hardcore outfit Hostile Array, with the riffing tenacity of Architects and the political spin of Rage Against The Machine; the quintet's debut record is set to make a name for them straight off the bat.
This ambitious debut carries with it a message that the band are keen to make sure is heard and that is simply: we should question the status quo more often. Vocalist Brendan Frey comments "This album really focuses on some of the political issues that frustrate me the most. I don't consider myself to be very liberal or conservative, but I am passionate about addressing issues of corruption on both sides of aisle. Our hope is to motivate others to question the status quo and never compromise when it comes to demanding justice in our system".
Opener 'Herd Instinct' seethes with anger and sets the tone for the rest of the album. Crunchy bass lines and melodic riffs pave the way for Brendan Frey's vocals to pierce over the top, while 'Bastardize' and 'Devoid' provide vocal melody in amongst what is otherwise an onslaught of guitar driven tracks. 'Devoid' in particular provides a poignant message and focuses on the tragedy of civilian casualties in the Middle East and US intervention policies.
'Newspeak' is a pleasantly surprising track midway through the album. The pace of the record is almost halted here and this is perhaps the simplest yet most effective song on the record. Harsh vocals combined with a certain melody in the chorus that soars when some of the instruments are stripped back. Tracks such as 'Wiretap' and 'Migrant Myth' go straight back into the all out riff factor though, and help to really amp up the heavy factor, with a faster pace and more of a hardcore feel about them it is these songs that surely get the pits going live.
Single "Warmonger" draws likeness to some of those catchy A Day To Remember hits that are punchy, jumpy and downright heavy. With a chorus that will have you screaming your lungs out this is a real highlight and sheds a light on what we can only hope for in Hostile Array's future.
Bands like While She Sleeps, Architects, and Parkway Drive have proven that heavy music can be successful and popular despite the lack of clean vocals. Here is a band that have both the heavy and melodic boxes ticked right out of the gates.
This politically charged album rages start to finish and has some great songs of variance throughout too. For a debut, the finesse and general maturity in the songwriting here is startlingly good and it's obvious that this five piece are unbelievably passionate about the message they carry across here. One thing is for sure, Hostile Array are pissed off and they want you to know it.
Score: 8/10 Facebook:/HostileArray Twitter: @HostileArray