Angerville v Royce Birth Blood, Sweat & Tears

The Aurora/Parkdale duo of Conscious Thought and Fortunato may be the hardest working group in hip-hop right now, rapidly releasing one quality album after another, with no end in sight. Their collaboration with Royce Birth on the beats might just be the best of the lot so far. Royce’s hard-hitting production is a highlight, bringing out the braggadocio battle raps of Angerville. The result is an album of fist-pumping anthems and witty one-liners requiring the use of the rewind button but never the fast-forward. Blood, Sweat & Tears also features some of their most impressive guests, with D.O. and Tona dropping dope verses alongside Angerville and Via Linez on "Broken Drums,” as well as regular contributor K-Dot presenting his usual deadpan swagger on "Back to the Basics,” the song most similar to the group’s previous output, and rapper/producer Royce Birth contributing his only verse on one of the few songs with a message, the sobering "Harsh Reality.” Blood, Sweat & Tears serves as a perfect introduction to Angerville for those unfamiliar with the group, while fans will need to add this to their collection. (Independent)