Already in summer I came across Age Of Apocalypse, who released their debut EP with The Way. The band from New York has a 7-track record, which might take some time to get familiar with, but musically it’s oriented by crossover 90’s HC and it’s really catchy – although the instrumental part is very similar to old Cro Mags or Biohazard and totally pushes in. But the presented vocals will probably split hearts. However, especially as an Oldschool Hardcore fan, you should give it a few tries, because this record will be able to ignite with the one or other.
Right from the start, Age Of Apocalypse pick up the listener with massive mosh Hardcore, which contains clear traces of classic NY Street HC and also gives off wonderful riffing besides various stomping and kicking passages. The Way is a super produced, really powerful record, whose instrumentals stay in your memory really fast and are definitely suitable for longterm playing. While the drums are hammering around aggressively, especially the subtle cymbal playing is inspiring, the often metallic-sounding guitars saw off everything, creating an excellent path for concise basslines that over and over again ring in heavy midtempo passages, to which you just want to fight your way.
The vocals I mentioned in the beginning, however, are definitely not my cup of tea, although that doesn’t mean that it’s bad. But almost the whole time it is sung clean and quite drone on, which might appeal above all fans of Life Of Agony or even Candlemass. The only change is the occasional gang shout and even more rarely a scratchy roar, as you might know more from early Vision Of Disorder. The voice sounds great in itself and singing is definitely one of the band’s strengths and is probably the flagship of Age Of Apocalypse anyway. On the whole length, though, it is, at least for me, quite exhausting, a bit monotonous and takes away a lot of hardness from the otherwise really good sound, at the expense of lyric comprehensibility. But at the same time I have to admit that due to the strong songwriting I can’t let go of The Way, I got stuck on it and listened to the songs a lot, hoping to get used to the independent singing, which I didn’t succeed 100% yet.
The Way was released by FUZZ RECORDS in June this year and is available there in three different color versions as a record. If you like clean vocals to some catchy brutal sound and if you celebrate the above mentioned bands, especially Life Of Agony, you will definitely devour Age Of Apocalypse. I’d personally prefer if the band reduced their sung vocals a little bit on future records, place them more discreetly and also include kind of nastier vocals. Nevertheless The Way is a decent, spectacular debut, which you should have heard as a die-hard fan of 90’s hardcore.