Barcode Ahead Of The Game

Losing not only your lead singer but also a renowned record deal (Century Media were behind Barcode’s last effort, Showdown) is the stuff that breaks lesser bands. In this case however, it has only provided the venomous materials to create Ahead Of The Game, an anthemnic, confrontational effort that finds Barcode not only increasing the amount of testosterone in their Slayer-meets-Hatebreed brand of hardcore but also sees them far more confident in the process. While Showdown was passable at best, Ahead Of The Game proves to be nothing less than powerful, abrasive and punishing. From the onset of opener "Fuck What You Say” through to "Course Of Action” with guest vocalist Lou Koller (Sick Of It All) and the closing title track, this doesn’t even seem like the same band. In fact, it is a vast improvement, and a positive reinforcement that great things can come from shitty situations. (SPV)