Most Precious Blood Do Not Resuscitate

After five-plus years away from the game and two since the inaugural rumblings of new material in the pipeline, Do Not Resuscitate is finally here. Whether or not it was worth the wait is subjective, dependent on numerous factors, such as how badly you wanted it, whether or not you still listen to this style of music and whether you prefer the more traditionally metalcore approach displayed on Nothing in Vain or the direction they subsequently took. A slight improvement on Merciless, but not altogether that different, one thing that can definitely be said is that there is precious little filler and a surprisingly focused sound for a record that's had such a fragmented, drawn-out inception. With a slightly crustier edge, occasionally recalling Disfear's up-tempo, triumphant-sounding corner of the market, the formula of the last two albums is tightened up, stripped of all extraneous experimentation, barring the occasional foray into strangely effected, psychedelic soloing. With the exception of ho-hum acoustic interlude "Of Scattered Ants That Swarm Together," there's no respite and a hell of a lot of thrashy hardcore goodness, appropriately laced with the increasingly desperate and venomous vocals of former One King Down frontman Rob Fusco. The only obvious strike against the record is in its overall tone ― the production gives the impression of a record that was intended to be polished, but was mastered and assembled slightly haphazard. The volume is inconsistent from track to track and the drums lack the impact necessarily to fully drive the material home. That said, fans diehard enough to still be interested in a new Most Precious Blood record will find these insignificant quibbles, and the reality of it is that the songs stand steadfast on their terms, regardless of the shoddy window dressing. An admirable comeback that will make many realize just how much bands like this are necessary to keep the Attack! Attack!s of the world from swamping the boat. (Bullet Tooth)