Straight Opposition – Path of Separation
Time To Kill Records
Release Date: 21/03/2022
Running Time: 30:00
Review by Rory Bentley
If I had a penny for every time a press release says that a band has produced their most diverse album to date that includes all their influences, I probably wouldn’t be typing this review in secret at my crappy day job. Inevitably, 9 times out of 10 I put the record on and roll my eyes that what they mean is that they’ve put some samples in a few bits or had a go at doing a bit of singing. Italian Hardcore crew Straight Opposition make this very claim, yet there is far more of case made on their latest full length “Path of Separation”.
Not everything here sticks the landing, but I’d never accuse them of not having a proper go. Things get underway in relatively straightforward fashion with two absolute ragers in ‘Outsider by Choice’ and ‘July 019’. Both bring all the atonal chords, d-beat drums and scuzzy guitar tone you could wish for, sounding like an early 90’s Roadrunner release and delivering short blasts of righteous intensity. Then things get very interesting.
‘Workstation- Dead Box’ brings ominous guitars, filthy Sepultura grooves and eerie melodic backing vocals to the mix. This theme is continued to even greater effect in ‘The Next Revolution’ which has more creepy sung passages, delivered this time over bouncy grooves and wonky melodic passages that cram a whole lot into its short runtime. The vocals then shift to a gravelly pentatonic croon on ‘Delusion of Omnipotence’ where vocalist Ivan channels his inner Phil Anselmo (in a non-racist way) over the main hook before going full throated Max Cavalera for the verses. Somehow, he manages to squeeze in another vocal icon, adopting a powerful Mina Caputo tone for the final section.
This would all be impressive enough at this point but ‘Path of Separation’ goes full on Goth vibes as unsettling drums and atmospherics leave you wincing for a punch that never comes. ‘Persona’ and the two tracks that follow deliver that killer blow and clearly show that these guys worship Napalm Death. As they bloody well should. By the time you get through the Death Metal nod of ‘From Cradle to Grave’ and the closing mantra-like ‘No Father’s Flag’, you’ve been through a lot.
Although Straight Opposition stay within the Hardcore / Extreme wheelhouse, they accomplish a great deal within these often sub two-minute songs, providing a tapas menu of all things crusty and mean. Ivan doesn’t always pull off everything he’s going for with technical prowess, but the effort is evident throughout and his rawness and passion lends authenticity to everything he does even if the death metal vocals verge on parody at times.
In a genre that can be very one-note, here is a band throwing everything they have at you and really trying to push themselves. A little more refinement on the next one and we could have something really special on our hands. You miss every shot that you don’t take and Straight Opposition are trigger-happy and proud.
‘Workstation DeadBox’ Official Video
01. Outsider By Choice
02. July 019
03. Workstation- Dead Box
04. The Next Revolution
05. Delusion of Omnipotence
06. (She’s Still) Pro Choice
07. Path Of Separation
09. The Secrets Of Your Militance
10. It’s Killing Time
11. From the Cradle to the Grave
12. No Age To Xclaim!
13. No Father’s Flag
Ivan – Vocals
Luca – Drums
Flavio – Bass
Nicola – Guitar
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