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Rating:
7.7
Warhound - Next Level
5 September 2014


01. Gotham
02. Onslaught
03. Next Level
04. Abandon
05. Daisy
06. The Hook
07. Enemy Poison
08. Anger
09. Filter
10. Full Circle
11. Stress
12. Gia
13. Web
14. Warrior Call
15. [Untitled]
16. Monster


Metal and hip hop? Being a fan of both, I can honestly say it's usually a remedy for embarrassing disaster, or something to listen to with that overt irony (see: Limp Bizkit). Props to Warhound for beating down the skeptics.

I'll answer all of your questions at once: No, this isn't a gimmick. The whole mix is remarkably natural. It's groovy hardcore riffing heaping with grit, filth, crunchiness, and all that other good stuff. Dodging in and out of the stomping rhythm guitars are these cold, evil, creepy leads, that somehow give Next Level a very distinct ambiance you wouldn't expect from such an up-front album.

So what makes it hip-hop? It's all about the supreme lyrical flow. Granted, it's not the most mind-blowing delivery when it comes to hip-hop, but the pure viciousness in the vocals is nothing but the perfect fit. In short, the vocals are a top-notch blistering hardcore style spit forth in hip-hop rhythmic patterns.

Warhound have crafted a distinct sound without turning it into a gimmick. They obviously love the vibe they're going for and they sound comfortable doing it. Too comfortable. The static tempo of the album is clearly meant to serve the hip-hop overtones of the album. The constant stomping speed makes Next Level sound like they're stuck in a perpetual breakdown. They've obviously got the knack for chaotic brutality, it would have been nice to hear them kick up the speed., even if that meant setting aside the hip-hop love for a few tracks.

Complete lack of variation aside, the fact that Warhound have attempted something this ambitious without turning it into a joke makes Next Level one to check out, out of curiosity, if nothing else.


 



Written on 31.08.2014 by
Doc Godin
Former EIC. Now just a reviewer guy.
More reviews by Doc Godin ››



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Rupert - 31.08.2014 at 16:52  
That's some pretty serious grit. I like it. Reminds me a bit of Scald (I think?).
Mr. Doctor - 31.08.2014 at 17:51  
Yey, sounds like I'm gonna get more cool shizzle besides Body Count. Will definitely check it out.
Ilham - 31.08.2014 at 23:13  
I keep writing down "listen to x band - Doc Godin review". This list getting ridiculously long because of you. Very interested in hearing this.

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