First Blood Silence is Betrayal

First Blood Silence is Betrayal
While First Blood have never been a band to push the envelope, they have steadily developed a reputation as one of the burlier acts in the metalcore genre, blending the new school fury of All Out War, Ringworm or even early Machine Head with a modernized mosh sensibility. After four years with no new material and countless delays, Silence is Betrayal is finally here, and while it doesn't pack the same punch as their debut EP or Killafornia, it's still a fair bit better than the majority of what's out there in the genre, benefiting greatly from focused, if somewhat predictable, lyrical content. The production is über-polished, but is not without its charms, featuring an interesting effect on the gang vocals, which gives the impression of a massive demonstration of burly dudes in wifebeaters spin-kicking each other in the guts. Musically, very little has changed in the First Blood camp, although certain songs feature slightly more metallic riffing and conventional structures, unfortunately edging them a bit closer to the Facedown/Strikefirst roster in tone. That said, when you've essentially reached the apex of what is possible with breakdown-oriented metalcore, where is there left to go? A solid album is all we should have expected, and that's exactly what we got. (Bullet Tooth)