Rosesdead Stages

Rosesdead haven’t always been the hardcore originators they appear to be on this release, which is probably what makes it even more impressive. Then again, even without having prior knowledge of the band’s catalogue, Stages is a record that stands alone as an innovative, exciting and generally rocking album. The most striking aspect of the record is its impressively cohesive nature, with every song running seamlessly into the next. A few of the transitions are less creative than others, but the ones that really work are barely noticeable until the moment you realise the song has taken a serious left turn and not come back. While the concept is a slightly clichéd one, it really does work, and proves that the band are interested in more than creating marketable metalcore — which, by the way, they do. Possessing the unique breakdowns of Every Time I Die, the brutally heavy speed breaks of Dillinger Escape Plan, and all the pop sheen of the last Underoath record, this is very listenable hardcore. That doesn’t mean, however, that it doesn’t have integrity, and the amount of work that has obviously been poured into making this record a real piece of musical art reeks of credibility. (Black Box)