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Fist over fist I crawl screaming bloody but Unbowed, rising to the war whilst those around me drown. After a hard start to 2005, The Break In are ready to unleash their long awaited debut album.
Unbowed is ten tracks of vicious hardcore, capturing a blend of Cleveland, New York, and Syracuse influences, ranging from Ringworm to anthemic Crowbar style metal and the intensity of Integrity. The result of which is an intensely fierce sound which wreaks havoc on all in it's path.
Unbowed takes a few side-steps away from the tough-guy mosh of previous albums, strips it down from the unflinching chest-thumping of their Hatebreed-esque beginnings and layers it with metallic death even going so far as to conjure up with their artwork the stomach-churning nihilism of metallic hardcore pioneers like Intregrity and Ringworm, whilst packing the thoughtful moralising of Earth Crisis and some good old fashioned gang vocals into one massive late-90s haymaker.
The Break In have always been vicious, they've always been pummelling and they've always been true - to claim that Unbowed is something truly revolutionary for them is probably hyperbole. It's exactly what The Break In should be only a hell of a lot faster and a lot dirtier; if This Ends With Us cut through the crap to expose the beating heart of UK hardcore then Unbowed rips it from the body and holds it aloft. The Break In Band Page www.myspace.com/thebreakin
The straight edge scene in Canterburyhas been burning bright for many years and whether it be in the capacity of band members, zine editors or gig promoters, members of South East troupe The Break In have been involved in the scene from the start. now united in the name of agressive noise, the band unleashes their album 'Unbowed". "Coffrin Dodger" kicks life into this feral and uncomprimising hardcore album, as if on a mission from noise itself. nothing lets up from here till the last note of the final track, "Legion". Proving there is life in the metalcore beast yet. "Iron Hammers" and "Beneath Contempt" make you want to kick out ion anger, thrash around in excitement and generally just go nuts.Compact noise is the name of the game as the album continues with its two to three minute bursts of fury. "Bleed For the Leeches", "Give Them Hell" and "We Are The Plague" all hold strong to the 'turn up, destroy, fuck off' mentality of the band. It's all just fist pumping, head banging hardcore noise from the off. Packing this much anger into 28 minutes must have been no small task. All ten tracks on the album burn with as much noise as anyone else of their regions scene at the moment and given the opportunity to cut the home strings a bit, i think the straight edge aggro hardcore of The Break In has the fury to make waves across the Uk scene. From start to finish the band rips apart the CD, and whether it's riffs, drumbeats, vocals or anything else, these guys shine loud and scream proud.
Clean-living Canterbury folk unleash hardcore hell. At its worst, the hardcore scene has a tendency to be a bit humourless, so given the added bonus of ludly proclaimed straight edge lifestyles, The Break In promise to be uniquely laugh free and twitchy-eyed. It comes as a great relief, then, that 'Unbowed' is largely free of moralising chuff and sounds very mearly brutal and precise as the much missed Earth Crisis did on their classic 'Gomorrah's Season Ends' album. Foul, scything metal riffs, throat-bursting screams and countless punishing beatdowns: if this is what they sound like after a glass of water and a quick sprint round the block, imagine how scary they'd be after a few pints... For Fans Of: Earth Crisis, Hatebreed.
Even though metalcore has intoxicated so many fledgling acts since Canterbury;s The Break In released the 'This Ends With Us' MCD in 2004, the quintet have, quite refreshingly, eschewed any addition of harmonised riffs, melodic choruses and beatdowns on this debut full length. Focusing instead on making each one of 'Unbowed's 26 minutes a rabbit-punch to the teeth. TBI offer up a direct dose of fury in the vein of Earth Crisis' masterpiece 'Gomorrah Season Ends', but with more energy than a caffeine influenced guitar crunch and old school hardcore authenticity, 'Unbowed's strength lies within it's unrelenting bluntness, the forceful drive of the ten tracks pummelling any desire for musical complicatiors from the listener. that's not to say that 'Unbowed' is a one dimensional work of thuggish grunting - far from it. The Break In just know that sometimes when weaponised, simplicity can be the deadliest of devices.
Metal Hammer 8/10
Straight edge and fuckin' proud of it.
" The Break In, at the time of recording were..." reads the lyric sheet, alluding to the personnel ructions recently experienced by the band. Any line-up weirdness, however , had made no apparent difference to the focused ferocity of this Canterbury crew's attack. The New York hardcore scene is an obvious reference point for these guys but the ire and fire they display in such toxic quantities on this follow-up to 'The Ends With Is' is British through and through. Thankfully, the desire to go all tough-guy on us is reined in and what you get is a thorough and violent pummelling delivered at speed., kind of like being hit by a runaway juggernaut. And where most bands' lyrics labour under the usual themes of pride, identity and loyalty to the scene, the requisite us-against-the-world fury on offer is refreshingly articulate.