Call to Preserve Unsinkable

Best known for releasing some of the poorest metal and hardcore releases of the last several years, Strike First is clearly trying a little harder this time around. They aren’t working themselves up, mind you, just a little bit harder. Call to Preserve play a bland, derivative and highly amateurish brand of groovy metalcore, comparable to Hatebreed or a ballsier Terror. If you’re into this sort of thing, you could do much worse — the mosh is stout and competently placed, there’s enough speedier moments to keep all but the most single-minded groove connoisseurs from passing right out, and the production is chunky and not too polished. That being said, with recent releases from First Blood and Bury Your Dead sending kids spin-kicking through their local malls in feverish support, you could also do much better. The Christian association with the label, heartily complimented by the evangelical lyrical content, will also likely be a point of debate. There is no denying the heart in this release, nor the presence of what could develop to become a natural knack for writing direct, pit-worthy songs. For those who have a spot in their collection reserved for yet another tough guy record — meet your new guilty pleasure. Otherwise, if this label’s reputation put you off before, don’t expect to have a sudden change of heart. (Strike First)