EPR - Great EP. The new record isn't as good as this debut
Price - UK £3
Rest Of World £5 Barcode - 5024545498325
From the ashes of Stampin' Ground a new darkness rises....
Romeo Must Die go straight for the jugular with an unrelenting intensity that you'd expect from the bands pedigree. 'Defined By Enemies' is bursting with infectious grooves, devastating breakdowns and ferocious thrash riffage that will force you to your knees. The enormous production is the final blow to the head that brings this masterpiece of a debut into a league of its own.
Romeo Must Die features Adam Frank-Sims and Ben Frost among its roster of musicians, both formerly of now-defunct UK metal legends Stampin' Ground. Defined By Enemies carries on the tradition started by that earlier band a tradition of blending brutally aggressive strains of metal and hardcore without pandering to the latest MySpace fads.
Romeo Must Die play music that truly deserves the tag 'metalcore'. What you get with Defined By Enemies is seven tracks of savage and bloody-knuckled low-slung grooves: heavy chugging chords and occasional screaming lead lines from the guitars welded tightly on top of rock-solid high precision drumming and juggernaut basslines.
Romeo Must Die's riffs contain the memory of classic New York hardcore, but they've acquired their own uniquely British character as the scene on this side of the Atlantic has developed its own style. There's a more metallic edge to the sound, and a certain dignity to the traditional defiant stance described by Frank-Sims? guttural vocals.
While it's a fine little chunk of mosh-pit violence in its own right, Defined By Enemies is also a welcome sign that the independent UK metal scenes are still busy beneath the radar of the slick and stereotypical MySpace clones; Romeo Must Die could give most of the bands that masquerade under the banner of metalcore a serious run for their money. Romeo Must Die Band Page www.myspace.com/romeomustdie
Classic Rock 8/10
Metalcore stalwarts return with a vengence.
If somehow you managed to avoid seeing UK metallic hardcore legends Stampin' Ground playing in your local fleapit over the last decade - and it's practically certain that they did - then Romeo Must Die, featuring that band's frontman Adam Frakes-Sime, must immediately take up your slack. Every bit as brutal and uncompromising as his former band, the steel throated sloganeer makes no radical departures here; this is vicious, scything neo-thrash, hewn from building blocks created by Slayer, Exodus and Kreator, but battered into a more contemporary shape with considerable skill. Heavy enough to flatten skulls and exhibiting more attitude than a stadium full of 13 year olds, 'Defined By Enemies' is an uncompromising, bold, and wholly authoritative debut from a band who are already sounding like the finished, pit-inciting, article.
At the last ever Stampin Ground show vocalist Adam Frakes-Sime was already giving out word that he and bassist Ben Frost would be back with a new band to shred every ones nerves. Well he wasn't wrong, Romeo Must Dir do indead shred. There will be comparison to the former band, that's inevitable, but RMD are a very different beast to SG. First up, nearly all the hardcore is gone, there is still a hint in the mix, Adam's vocals for one, but they sound like Sepultura with the new sound which is way more metal than SG ever were. Romeo take a good solid Anthrax, The Haunted, Sepultura approach to songwriting. The galloping drums and thrashing, chopping guitars are pure metal through and through. Not a bad thing for capturing a crossover audience. And of course Ben Frost's bass lays an ominous foundation for those duelling guitars to dance across. A brutal and promising debut, and at only seven songs, leaves you wanting more, which is how it should be. Don't let us down.
Metal Hammer 9/10
Rome may not have been built in a day, but Romeo Must Die nearly were. The Southend five-piece have risen from the ashes of critically acclaimed UK metal veterans Stampin Ground, an act who were more than capable of holding their own as support alongside the likes of transatlantic heavyweights Chimari, Biohazard and Sepultura. Stampin Ground called it a day in January 2007, but by March vocalist Adam Frakes-Sime and bassist Ben Frost has formed a band equal intensity and recorded this seven-track monster of a mini-album. Fusing fercious hardcore vocals with the more groove metal-oriented riffage of Pantera and Lamb Of God, it's ball-to-the-wall, blistering British metal for the downtrodden. An increasingly rare reason to beat your chest and proudly proclaim that somewhere on this tiny island some bands are getting it right.
Aural thuggery from ex-members of Stampin Ground.
Southend-On-Sea's Romeo Must Die do not make nice music. At all. It was a real shame that metallic hardcore warriors Stampin Ground never found the support they deserved, and featuring SG's former screamer Adam Frakes-Sime and bassist Ben Frost, hopefully RMD will see them gaining a little more recognition. Frakes-Sime is still possessed of a formidable roar and everything on their debut seven track Cd is powered by visceral anger, the tracks sounding as if they were born kicking and screaming in a heaving mosh-pit, fighting for life and determined to leave as many eyes blackened and faces bloodied along the way.