Madball / Empire


Empire

Madball is a New York-based Hardcore band that originated in the late 1980s, as a side-project of Agnostic Front (where Agnostic Front’s front man Roger Miret would let his younger brother, Freddy “Madball” Cricien take the microphone on lead vocals during Agnostic Front shows).

Along with bands such as Agnostic Front, Vietnom, Bulldoze, Resistance and H2O, they comprise a part of New York‘s DMS Crew. Vocalist Cricien and bass player Hoya are also in the band Hazen Street, along with members of H2O and Cro-Mags.

In February 2010 Madball signed a deal with Nuclear Blast for the European release of their new studio album.[2] Jay Weinberg, son of E Street Band and Max Weinberg 7 drummer Max Weinberg, joined Madball for the album and for touring.[3]

Madball then dismissed Weinberg in September 2010, citing personality conflicts.[4] Weinberg said that he had already quit the group by that time, due to lifestyle issues.[5]

In 2010, after the departure of the Ferret Records owners from the label. Madball followed them to there new and present label Good Fight Music.

The Analysis:

Invigorate—-From the first sudden opening chords, this release will kick your ass. Although there are many comparisons to Hatebreed, for me..this band misses the mark a bit. The sound from this band as compared to Hatebreed is a bit more shallow and empty. None the less, there is a huge aggression and energy  that comes along with this band…as well as a damn positive message. This is stellar.

Danger Zone—-This track is much more aggressive…the guitars seem to be tuned to a deeper level and the wall of sound is pretty remarkable. The vocal is great…delivering line after line of positive messages that you can knock each other out to. Tremendous…I love this sub-genre of the Metal movement.

Timeless—-I love this…the opening chords of this track are huge…delivering line after line of aggressive lyrics that still speak of a healthy aggression that you find some solace in. the sound of the band is very large…I just wish that it was moved up into the mix a bit more and delivered a bit louder. I like this…the chorus and gang style vocals on it are stellar…one of the bands that helped to kickstart it all.

All Or Nothing—-this is stellar…delivered with huge and hyper style vocals that would inspire on the largest mosh pits in the world, this is energetic, brutal yet somewhat tame. I keep looking for something to keep me happy in between Hatebreed releases and so far…nothing comes close…but this is pretty damn great!

Glory Years—-Giving you no time to catch your breath in between songs, this starts as quickly as the last track ends. It is hard to believe that the son of Max Weinberg could deliver such incredible drums…but they are solid none the less. This is aggressive and driving…the music just seems a bit empty to me. I wish the whole damn thing was delivered LOUDER!

Empire—-This title track come to the closet reach of satisfying the thirst that I have for aggressive Hardcore…this is speedy yet remarkably delivered with a sense of vocal clarity. The layers of the music are intense, but this whole thing just seems to be underproduced.

Shatterproof [featuring Roger Miret]—-This is great….with a double styled vocal delivery and a guitar lead that is clear and aggressive, this is stellar. The drums are literally huge…the vocal is delivered with a nice attitude of ‘Fuck Off’ and the guitar sounds are much clearer and in your face. This is fantastic…Roger really does not add much to the track…it stands on its own very well.

The End—-NICE! The vocal is a nice puking of aggression…my biggest complaint is that the band is never really given the chance to shine. It seems like all of the instrumentation is secondary and pushed to the back of the mix…don’t these producers realize that without the key players you would just have a voice…a voice does not make the band.

Con Fuerza—-This is nice…even though i can’t understand a damn word that they are saying…the music is much more pushed to the front and stands on its own alone. I like this, the language barrier does nothing to dispel the aggression or driving power of the song.

R.A.H.C.—-a nice tribute to the whole Hardcore movement, it is very well to lose your mind to this track. this is exactly what i have been hungry for…a nice pompous song that is delivered with venom and aggression. Freakin’ Brilliant!!!

Hurt You—-A really great spoken word soundbite from some gangster movie or the other, this is full of italian accents and the kind of New York flavor you would expect from these guys. This is hilarious and effective!

“Tough Guy”—-With the guitars delivered much more to the front of the mix, this track moves at fucking hyper drive…this is what I needed…at only a minute and some change, this made the whole CD worth the purchase price!!! I love this loud, fast aggressive stuff.

Dark Horse—-This has a much more aggressive vocal and guitars that are moved way up in the mix…helping to even out the song. The drums are delivered at hyper speed and the bass guitar matches the pace at an alarming accuracy. This is pretty stellar…I love this stuff…makes me want to grab some Suicidal Tendencies!!!

Spider’s Web—-I will say that the latter half of this record seems much more powerful and driven than the first half. This is delivered, again, in a language I can’t understand…but the beauty is that it transpires across all boundaries simply because of the brutal nature of the whole damn thing. I would love nothing more than to be in the center of this mosh pit…extreme yet remarkably accessible!!!

Delete—-With much more prominent leads and some pretty remarkable drums, this is incredible. The vocals are spit with pure venom…finding a place in my psyche that has been needing to be filled. The lyrics are still powerful and positive…but the brilliance is the remarkable honesty and brutality. This is incredible…Cro-Mags…here I come!

Rebel4Life18—-Catchy as hell and delivered with that huge kind of chorus that will inspire the entire crowd to sing along at the top of their voices, this is one of those songs that would fill up a smaller venue with energy and crowd convulsions. This is a remarkable end to a pretty great record…that from song 6 on is stellar!!!

****out of 5

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