The Pitch: Possibly the most overlooked hardcore album of 2018 from Norwegian band Of Grace And Hatred via Loyal Blood Records. FFO: Every Time I Die, The Armed, The Locust
What I Like: Holy f#$k this album slaps so goddam hard. Toxic Vows exemplifies what a 10 on our Enjoyability scale truly stands for. Not only is there not a single dud on this album; every ripping track may as well be a lead single. Close your eyes and randomly choose a one... you won't be dissapointed. Of Grace and Hatred bring the energy and speed only possible from a bunch of young dudes who assumably haven't yet been ruined by late night diaper changes and mortgage payments. The D-beat is relentless to the point that driving while listening should be contraindicated. I felt like I drank 5 cups of coffee in 30 minutes and was hallucinating humming birds covering Every Time I Die. Equally enthralling are the youthful, angst-filled vocals and constantly shifting guitars. The hooks race by at a speed that is most certainly illegal. Mathy chord progressions, surfer rock transitions, tapping, scorching solos, and a seemingly endless variety of other tricks pack every square millimeter of this album with blissful entertainment that never goes stale. The more melodic post-hardcore/math rock-infused "Demonic Courtesy" may very well be my new anthem.
Critiques: This album doesn't do anything new, but it does all that has been done PERFECTLY. You literally couldn't ask for more out of a standard hardcore record.
The Verdict: I am severely dissapointed that I didn't hear about this until the year was over, because it may just be the best hardcore album of 2018. It would be a travesty for Toxic Vows to go further unnoticed, so I implore you to share the crap out of this one and buy the damn thing. Unfortunately it is not available on Bandcamp, but is streaming on all other services right now.
Flight's Fav's: For Those Against The Flood Pt. 2, Demonic Courtesy, Internal Rot
- Review by FlightOfIcarus
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