Ignite- Ignite

Ignite Album Cover Art

Ignite- Ignite
Century Media Records
Release Date: 25/03/22
Running Time: 31:00
Review by Rory Bentley

I tell you what mates, it feels good to be back on home soil and talking about some Hardcore again, this time we’re talking about Orange County veterans Ignite and their new self- titled effort. Ignite have long stood out from the crowd with their ultra-melodic but no less intense approach to Hardcore, bolstered by the powerful, crystal clear tenor of original vocalist Zoltán Téglás, but now they find themselves seven albums in surrounded by bands that have liberally ‘borrowed’ from them and with a new singer in the form of Eli Santana. Do we need a new Ignite album in 2022? My answer is yes we need bands like Ignite more than ever.

At a brisk 31 minutes “Ignite” is brimming with aggression, passion and gigantic singalong hooks that tackle social injustice headfirst. Eli Santana immediately stamps his authority all over the album as ‘Anti Complicity Anthem’ comes screeching through the speakers, possessing a robust high register croon that effortlessly takes the baton from his predecessor.

After ‘The River’ brings some Gothic melancholy to the table and ‘This Day’ snaps your head back with furious pace and boisterous gang vocals, things really start cooking. ‘On the Ropes’ channels lurching bass and jangling chords into an eruption of kinetic Bad Religion harmonies that are catchy as they are intense while ‘The Butcher In Me’ is an outstanding songwriting showcase that has all the hallmarks of a hit single while never losing its menacing Hardcore edge. If you miss the old Rise Against sound then Ignite has got you covered here in a big way.

‘Call Off The Dogs’ provides the biggest hook of the album with the fist pumping chant of “Deny your programming” and a bouncing Nu-metal riff that really catches fire in the screamed breakdown section. From here on out it’s a straight dash to the finish line with every song hitting the mark until the brooding closer ‘Let the Beggars Beg’ seduces you with melancholic strumming that builds into hulking AFI style riffs that masterfully build into yet another huge chorus.

While I can’t honestly say that Ignite are doing anything new here, it has been a long time since they sounded this vicious, focused and full of spite and even longer since they’ve produced something this consistent. There are no dips in quality or momentum over these 10 tracks and enough variety to avoid fatigue setting in. This is music that deals with ugly reality and isn’t afraid to slug you in the face with it, but it sweetens the deal with an abundance of melody.

With AFI going full goth a long time ago, Bad Religion mellowing with age and Rise Against going the stadium route you could do a lot worse than turning to Ignite for scabrous punk with a hint of California sunshine. This one’s getting bumped loud and proud in my garden this summer!

‘The Butcher In Me’ Official Video

01. Anti-Complicity Anthem
02. The River
03. This Day
04. On The Ropes
05. The Butcher In Me
06. Call Off the Dogs
07. The House is Burning
08. Enemy
09. State of Wisconsin
10. Let The Beggars Beg

Kevin Kilkenny– guitar
Nik Hill– guitar
Brett Rasmussen– bass
Craig Anderson– drums
Eli Santana– vocals


Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Rory Bentley and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

BillyBio – Leaders And Liars

Leaders And Liars Album Cover Art

BillyBio – Leaders And Liars
AFM Records
Release Date: 25/03/2022
Running Time: 42:38
Review by Rory Bentley

I need a vest, chain and a bandana stat! BillyBio has dropped a new album and I’ll be damned if I’m spin-kicking in this stupid Ensiferum shirt I’m wearing!

You know the drill by now, I love Hardcore, I especially love NY Hardcore and beat downs and gang chants are my shit. I also obviously love Biohazard, so Billy Graziadei’s excellent decision to go solo in lieu of Biohazard getting their shit together made me very happy in 2018, with that iconic bark and jackhammer right hand guaranteeing a concrete ass kicking New York style which is exactly what we get on “Leader and Liars”.

If that sounds like it’s not for you I’d suggest you skip this one but if that makes you feel like you want to headbutt the nearest wall and destroy your place of work, then this will see you right. You want songs about wanting to snap people like a twig after you’ve been patient with them? ‘Blackout’ has got you covered with a rousing chorus and macho rapping over a searing crossover riff. You want somebody to be angry with an authority figure over a head-snapping punk attack? ‘Leaders and Liars’ will stick it hard to whatever corrupt douchebag you’d like to give a haymaker to. How about if you need a pep talk to pick you up out of the mud from an angry tattooed lad shouting in your face? ‘Turn The Wounds’ will see you right my downtrodden friend.

There’s nothing wrong with doing what it says on the tin if the tin is full of rousing metallic Hardcore that has all the menace and nostalgic joy of the early 90’s with a modern gut-punch of a production job. The riffs are front and centre, the drums slap you round the chops and Billy sounds as commanding as ever. He has a great way of introducing a melodic sing along hook to a song without ever dropping the intensity, possessing an alpha male grit that never sacrifices clarity or feels like forced machismo. Although this is the core makeup of the record, Billy’s not afraid to throw a few surprises that distinguish his solo career from his day job.

There are some very well-placed Alice In Chains style eerie harmonies in ‘Fallen Empires’ and ‘Leaders and Liars’ that add an extra sense of menace to the melodic sections that work beautifully with sludgy riff work that Jerry Cantrell would be proud of. On the more upbeat end of the scale the posi-vibes of ‘Generation Kill’ and ‘Our Scene’ provide the answer to the question “what would The Offspring sound like if they had gang signs tattooed on their knuckles?” These upbeat and almost poppy excursions are once again prevented from sounding soft by the band playing them at a million miles an hour and Billy still singing like he’s passing a kidney stone.

The pacing of the album is excellent throughout as interludes ‘Sheep Dog’, ‘Just in The Sun’ and ‘Remission’ (the latter two featuring stirring female vocals), break up the record nicely and stop the faster numbers blurring together and tiring the listener. By the time you get to final fist pumping strains of ‘Cyanide’ you’ll wonder where the time went.

Essentially this record has the potential to keep everyone happy, serving up enough familiar fun to satisfy Biohazard diehards without the pressure that the legendary name brings. If Billy’s plan is to keep churning out songs and releasing albums of this quality whenever he needs to express himself, I’m more than happy for Biohazard to take all the time they need to get on the same page. This is good, dirty fun and I’ll take another of these pick me ups in two years’ time please Billy!

‘Black Out’ Official Music Video 

01. Blackout
02. Fallen Empires
03. Leaders and Liars
04. Lost Horizon
05. Turn the Wounds
06. Sheepdog
07. Deception
08. Generation Kill
09. Looking Up
10. One Life to Live
11. Our Scene
12. Just the Sun
13. Enough
14. Remission 
15. Cyanide

Billy Graziadei – Vocals, Guitars
Fred Aching Rios – Drums
Ra Diaz, Dan Manca – Bass
Dan Palmer, Robbie Davidson – Leads


BillyBio Promo Pic

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Rory Bentley and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Gloves Off – Life … And Everything After

Life... And Everything After Album Cover Art

Gloves Off – Life … And Everything After
Upstate Records
Release Date: 28/01/2022
Running Time: 32:00
Review by Rory Bentley

There are some styles of music that make me act like a fussy toddler if the balance isn’t just right for my ears. Too much cheese and helium screeching on a Power Metal song and I spit my dummy out; excessive Euro-pop synths on a Symphonic Metal cut and no amount of airplane noises is gonna make me swallow it down. Then there are some genres where I’ll greedily clear my plate before I’ve even been strapped into my highchair, which is kind of where I am with Hardcore.

Putting aside this bizarre man-baby analogy for a moment, the point I’m making is that if you play metallic Hardcore with an Entombed-style guitar tone, my objectivity goes out the window a little. This stuff is catnip for me and my default setting of snooty cynicism is somewhat nullified; replaced by a two-stepping guy in a bandanna that shouts ‘FAMILY!’ a lot.

Gloves Off tick a lot of my boxes from the get-go: violent band name, angry faces on press photos and cool song titles like ‘My Death Was a Banquet’. I’m also pleased to say that the execution matches the imagery and throws in enough sonic curveballs to make them stand out from the crowd.

Hailing from Pennsylvania, a rich hotbed of Hardcore, Gloves Off deal out a savage brand of down-tuned depravity and abrasive noise that recalls the crushing chugs and harmonic screeches of their fellow natives Code Orange at their most feral. Aided by a production job that blends surgical clarity with a delightfully grimy overtone, the sonic palette here strikes the exact balance between extremity and accessibility that I gravitate towards. Essentially it doesn’t sound like it’s been recorded in a shoe but it’s also filthy enough to avoid any unfavourable Warped Tour Metalcore comparisons.

The album opens with tar-black hanging power chords booming ominously before accelerating into a crossover Thrash riff that could conjure a thousand circle pits. I was immediately struck by the unconventional but very welcome use of blast beats that punctuate the beat down sections here, adding a flavour of Death Metal while still retaining the streetwise feel of a Hardcore banger. 

By second cut ‘Death Awaits’ it is quickly apparent that Gloves Off are adept at switching up tempos frequently in a way that adds variety to their relentless barrage without disrupting the overall song structures, bringing cohesion to chaos. ‘In Reflection’ switches up the formula slightly and if you’re a Gojira fan (and why the hell wouldn’t you be?), then you’ll be lapping up the immensely satisfying pick scrapes and screeching natural harmonics that litter the scorching riff-work as the track segues into the eerie octave chords of the album’s catchiest chorus so far. Not for the first time, it’s worth acknowledging the savage beat down section at the end, which is just straight ignorant and makes me want to spin kick until my ligaments snap!

This would be a good time to give some shine to vocalist Cody Clark, who has an unhinged razor blade ferocity to his scowling bark that may not be good for his vocal cords but is great for selling the existential rage contained within the weighty lyrics of ‘Life… And Everything After’. He tackles the agony of existence with a philosophical approach while retaining the scowling demeanour of a street-brawler. This more literary approach to prose essentially allows me to have my cake and eat it – I feel like I can shout the mosh calls with permanent screw-face without the sensation that I’m descending into the world of macho parody that the name Gloves Off might infer.

If I had to pick a standout track then that honour would go to ‘Conqueror Worm’, which blends all the elements of the album that have had me salivating and closes with a gargantuan breakdown that I fear one day will put me in hospital, before frantically escalating in speed to an anxiety-inducing sprint to the finish line. Like the album itself the song offers a delightful buffet of the best bits about modern Hardcore, collated into a satisfying feast of Converge-worshipping malevolence.

Taking my over-sized baseball cap off and donning my critical hat, there are areas for improvement. Predominantly I would love the band to explore a little further beyond the self-imposed borders of the genre; as there’s plenty of evidence they’re more than capable of this. Like nearly every band from the scene since Code Orange dropped their seminal 2017 opus ‘Forever’, there are samples and ambient moments stitching the record together that hint at roads yet to be travelled. 

The outstanding closer ‘Between Greetings and Goodbyes’ sees the band employing dissonant arpeggios and moments of pure black metal destruction that recall Bleeding Through in their blackened Hardcore pomp, showing that there’s plenty more tools left to play with should the band veer from the palm-muted beaten track. More of this please!

‘Life…And Everything After’ is modern Hardcore done to a very high standard with the green chutes of future growth and innovation excitingly peppered through its perfectly pitched 32-minute runtime. Far from just being a thuggish haymaker to the gut, this is a sophisticated lesson in violence performed with proficiency and panache. If Edgar Allen Poe owned a pair of brass knucks he’d probably love this album.

‘In Reflection’ Official Video

01. Pinnacle In Timelines
02. Death Awaits
03. In Reflection
04. By A Thread
05. Decay 
06. Conqueror Worm
07. My Death Was a Banquet
08. Winter Solstice
09. Between Greetings and Goodbyes

Cody – Vocals
Ethan – Guitar
Sean – Guitar
Brian – Bass
Phil – Drums


Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Rory Bentley and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.


Brings You New Life With REVOLUTION RISING
By Stephanie Stevens

Always seeking to evolve
Always seeking to empower
Always seeking to unite.

The amazing force that SILENCE EQUALS DEATH has within the hardcore scene is purely amazing. From powerful lyrics to crushing music, the feelings of raw nature saturate hardcore and makes it one of the best genres of music. SED hail from NJ and bring to you a unique fashion of aggressiveness with melodic undertones and to me have become a notable force to be reckoned with.

With the release of the band’s newest EP “REVOLUTION RISING” you can see the undeniable growth, maturity and excitement they had for writing these songs. Lyrically it bleeds with real talk, the driving hard riffs and that energy induced vibe they capture so well is on a new level. Take an earful of ‘SWITCH’ or ‘PLAGUE’, two of my favourites, and tell me if you get the same warm feeling!

I recently had a chance to chat with some of the guys and got more details into the new songs, working with producers, how they liked a livestream and much more.

Q: You guys have always had albums n songs that capture reality driven storylines be it personal or life around you. 2020 has had a lot to write about. Did any of the impact of 2020 go into this new EP “REVOLUTION RISING”?

Scott: The song ‘Revolution Rising’ was actually written prior to the riots and protests. However, it was clear the country was on the brink so that’s what fuelled the idea. ‘Traitor’ is about Trump plain and simple. ‘Switch’ and ‘No More Ashes’ deal with life’s frustrations, which we can all relate to. ‘Pass The Torch’ is a nod to the young people coming up in the scene. We feel it’s up to them to keep it going and some old dogs tend to look down on the youth. We say, take em by the hand and show them the way so this thing we call Hardcore can live on for generations to come.

Wade: Most of our music has been written pre-2020. although, I could say most of the material definitely relates to most of what’s going on this year. Especially with the injustices of our government and the abuse of authority, our EP seems like it was written just a month prior to release. The only impact 2020 really had was it gave us the chance to really focus on what we put into the EP. We had more time to discuss how we wanted it to sound. So, it was more of a blessing in an ironic way more so.

Q: It’s been a few years since you released any new stuff. Do you think taking time, you guys came back with a renewed motivation musically and do you see growth in yourselves as musicians?

Scott: We’ve done a few singles for comps here and there, but it really felt good for the 5 of us to sit down and hash out some new material.

Ryan: We’ve been working on material since our last proper release “End Times”. We went through a number of line-up changes. “Revolution Rising” is the result of contributions from both past and present members.

Wade: To say the least, it was a long time coming. The reason we don’t push out content as much as we would like is because we get very picky on how we write our music. Scott and I usually go back and forth on what we want as far as composition, but we always manage to get the best results when we do. So, for us it takes time. Not necessarily because of the writing as much as how we want the whole picture to be viewed.

Q: SILENCE EQUALS DEATH is in a genre of music that pretty much is family and brotherhood. Do you feel the scene is even tighter these days or do you see a change in the scene?

Scott: Personally, I feel like there is a lot of unity within the scene. The majority of people involved in HC really look out for one another which is evident by the way we rally around those in need That’s not to say it’s perfect, but what family dynamic is? As a band we try to treat everyone we encounter with the same respect we expect in return. Fans of the band are not just fans but also friends. Band members are not above anyone in the crowd in my opinion. I feel like anyone who loses that connection, loses what makes this scene so special, thus losing a bit of that unified feeling.

Wade: I have only been in the scene since I’ve started working with SED. I have played in multiple genres all my life. I can say, I’ve never felt more at home than with the HC scene. I’ve never been accepted so quick. No one cares about how you dress, what you listen to. This scene has always accepted me for me. I don’t need to pretend. So that right there should explain just how amazing and family oriented our scene is.

Q: Let’s talk about the song ‘PLAGUE’. Probably my favourite track on the disc from the guitar solo, the breakdowns and the signature upbeat high impact sound you guys have. Can you tell the world how the song came to see the light of day?

Scott: The song was originally written for the Patient Zero Records split 7″, “Spreading The Infection”. We’re always looking to expand our creativity and for ‘Plague’ we wanted to explore the more thrashy side. The song evolved over the past couple years, so we decided to update it and include it on the new EP. Lyrically it deals with organized religion. Although we are not a bunch of religious guys, we do respect others freedom of belief. With that said, my personal view of organized religion is basically different sects twisting the words of books to control its followers. The true Plague on our society is the mind control and manipulation most organized religions impose.

Q: 2020 also put the music world on hold. But you guys just recently did a livestream. How did that go and how did it feel having a show but not having the energy of the crowd?

Scott: For me it was the excitement of seeing the hundreds of people signing up to watch it beforehand. Knowing they were out there all around the globe was awesome.

Ryan: It was fun getting in the room with the guys again and performing. We wanted to make it special, so we purposely scheduled it the same day as our EP release. I immediately thought of backroom studios given their rich history and how they’ve done a number of successful livestreams already. The experience was organic, and we had a great time doing it.

Wade: it was the first time I didn’t have to picture the crowd naked in order to get comfortable playing. I usually go through these anxious episodes before playing. So being excluded from a crowd was easier on the anxiety but harder on the heart.

Q: How did you guys go about recording this EP were you able to get together, studio wise, or was this a home created EP?

Wade: We tracked all instruments in my studio and Scott tracked vocals at his. I then went in and did the editing and we sent it off to my friend Doug Gallo at AGL sounds and he took over from there. I can’t thank him enough for pouring his heart and soul into making sure we got exactly how we wanted it to sound.

Ryan: Yeah, Wade really stepped up and did a fantastic job tracking and editing. Once Doug put his magic touch on it, it really brought the songs to life.

Q: When it comes to producers do you stick close to home with people you’ve worked with before or do you like to branch out and test new waters?

Ryan: We like to branch out and try something new with every release. When we chose Doug to mix/master we recognized that he hadn’t worked with a lot of hardcore bands in the past, but we didn’t care. The quality and care Doug puts forth with all his projects was enough for us to trust him with our songs. Doug did not disappoint. He brought a fresh ear to the table and we couldn’t be more proud of the end result.

Wade: I have to agree with Ryan on this one.

Q: Music in every genre is life for so many people. What do you think it is about music that can be so powerful to people?

Scott: For me it’s the pouring out of emotions. Topical songs are cool, but when you can really relate to what someone is saying and understand what, is often their frustration/pain, that’s priceless.

Wade: I have to agree, it’s all about emotion, plain and simple. You want to connect with something. For some, they have family, friends, etc. For most, they only have relations from sound. I have had bands save me through some dark times. You can’t get a feeling of emotion stronger than from music.

Q: Empower another artist and tell us someone you look up to and why?

Wade: One person I’ve always looked up to is Yoni Wolf from “Why?”. Although, he is the complete opposite end of the spectrum. He has shown me there is more to music than just guitar, bass, and drums. He has written music so abstract but befitting to the average listener’s ear. Opened a whole new way of thinking. Especially when it comes to producing. Another person would be Alexis S.F. Marshall. Him and his band also have shown me there is more you can do with empty space than just hitting power chords. He also takes risks. He doesn’t care what people want. He creates what he wants. I’m all about that. Last but not least, Drew Stone. That man seriously amazes me with how much he dedicates to the scene. He has shown a whole world of hardcore to younger crowds. If hardcore is dying, Drew Stone can single-handedly save it from failing.

The End


Silence Equals Death – Livestream at Backroom Studios (13th November.2020)

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Stephanie Stevens and East Coast Romper, and has been released to Ever Metal on this basis. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of said party. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.