Published Oct 23, 2017Young fans of heavy music could likely bring their crusty older sibling to Left Behind's tour with Terror and Bent Life this month and find an enjoyable compromise; vocalist Zachary Hatfield's scratchy vocal charisma in chemistry with the band's groovy, metal-influenced riffs recalls veterans Crowbar — except showcased in a hardcore setting. It's a chemistry found all over new album Blessed by the Burn.
First single "Tough Love" and album opener "West by God" feature honest ("I wish I was the one to bleed") and confrontational lyricism ("Left Behind, you fucking bitch!") from Hatfield, respectively. That vulnerability doesn't result in a sacrifice to the band's aggressive and crunchy tone, though. The heaviest moments of Blessed by the Burn process like a traumatizing trip to the dentist.
The noisy, experimental moments of the record ("Twenty Four") are interesting, but are situated poorly amidst the doom-filled heaviness that is generally Left Behind's focus. The title track and "Burn Out," though, make for excellent middle and conclusive footnotes of Blessed by the Burn, a promising full-length album crowded with dark, angry hardcore/metal songs written by a young band with lots to get off their chests. (Unbeaten Records)