A Life Once Lost The Fourth Plague: Flies

Recently signed to Boston's Deathwish Inc., Philadelphia's A Life Once Lost issue a five-song, slightly over 12-minute EP on Robotic Empire (formerly Robodog). There's much to like and even more potential contained on the five sonic barbs of The Fourth Plague: Flies. Like many in the underground seeking a new twist on metallic hardcore's myriad incarnations, A Life Once Lost have turned to the brutality of black metal and the precision of technical death grind to establish their identity. Brutal death/thrash runs collide with buffeting metallic chugging, insane Dillinger-ish runs (themselves stolen from the likes of Atheist, Cynic and Death), semi-melodic harmonised breaks and an overwhelmingly abrasive attack that doesn't relent for the duration of this EP. However, as brutal and punishing as this disc is, with a better production and more time on the performances, it could have been truly obliterating, as the mix gets a little thin, at times, and doesn't deliver the excessive sonic pummelling A Life Once Lost strives for. Still, while The Fourth Plague: Flies is more death and thrash than hardcore, it will appeal to any fan of aggression, and their next release has the potential to be absolutely brutal. (Robotic Empire)