January 11, 2006 | | 3

With Honor, This is Our Revenge

The sticker on this album when I purchased it stated, in not so many words, that With Honor was the future of hardcore. Now, that’s quite a statement to be made, especially when applied to a band that has a more traditional, throw back hardcore sound. While I don’t think that the band’s sound is the future, I have to say that this a pretty damned good release.

Musically the band reminds me a great deal of Strike Anywhere. Where the Richmond, VA band plays energetic punk with a bit of hardcore tinge to it, With Honor has a similarly energetic style that is more hardcore based. Overall I would say that this latest release from With Honor could be the hardcore equivalent to Strike Anywhere. The vocal presentation and energetic music are similar, but the band does have their own uniqueness to set them apart from their punk counterpart. Lyrically, the songs are more personal and reflective. There is still talk of politics and society as a whole, but not with the angst and vigor of Strike Anywhere.

Like Trumpets. The band chose a great track to get the listener into this release. The album starts of with a punk tinged track that’s got some great group shouts and high paced beat. The shouted vocals are clean and polished as is the quick drums and guitar. Vocalist, Todd Mackey, does stretch his screaming muscles at a couple points in this track, but overall his delivery is clean.

Plot Two. This one’s just slightly slower than the opener, but no less powerful. It’s got a bit of a darker, angrier sound to it. There are some nice changes of pace and levels of intensity in this one that really gets the head bobbing.

Elevens. “Plot Two” quickly transitions into the quicker paced “Elevens.” This is where we really notice the similarity to Strike Anywhere. both musically and vocally. This track is high paced and has some frenzied guitar and drums.

Up And Out. This is the shortest track on the album, not even making it to the one minute mark. “Up and Out” has a great flow to the vocal delivery, aided by the pounding drums.

Closets. A nice bit of drumming starts this one off. Todd Mackey adds a bit more of a scream to his delivery on this one. This is one of my favorite songs. I mean, with lyrics like, “Come at me like you mean it,” how can you not get into it.

Bottoms Up. Here’s another song with a sound reminiscent of Strike Anywhere, but with more prominent hardcore sound. It’s another short one full of group chorus shouts.

20 Strong. The vocals are the cleanest on this song than most. The mid tempo pace slows it down a bit from previous tracks, but certainly doesn’t take away from the power to the lyrics or the album’s momentum.

You Always Said. This one starts of very slowly with lots of melody in the guitar and soft drums. But have no fear, it quickly picks up pace and is back to the mid tempo beat of the rest of the album. The group singing on the chorus is a great touch to this one. This is one of the more layered and structured tracks.

A New War. “A New War” has some of the quicker beats on the album at times. Overall it’s a pretty straight forward track with a quick beat and more group shouts.

Small Dreams. Strong vocals start this one off quick and powerfully. The spoken vocals in portions of the song combined the screamed shouts are a nice touch.

In A Bottle. The final track on the album starts out with a bit of a guitar intro that leads into some spoken/sung vocals. This is probably the most melodic song on This is Our Revenge as it has plenty of singing and backing vocals that are also sung, instead of the usually shouted presentation found on the previous 10 tracks. It’s a nice slower paced song to end the album with.

With Honor‘s up tempo, old school flavored hardcore makes their latest release a great album. It’s not ground breaking in any way, nor do I think they are the future of the genre, but man is it a hell of a good listen. Their sound does dull the edge of some of the lyrical content, but that makes for more mass appeal to get their message across.

Favorite Tracks:
Like Trumpets
20 Strong
A New War
Small Dreams

Additional Notes: