War of Ages Return to Life

Metalcore, as most genres do, evolved, or rather, devolved. The previous abundance of Swedish melodic death metal riffs paired with a few breakdowns has been edged out in favour of string bends and too many breakdowns. Given the changes, War of Ages would have been better releasing an album like Return to Life eight years ago, but must be given credit for sticking to their guns ― they've been playing metalcore in this vein for a decade. But credit doesn't necessarily make for a good album. While Return to Life surpasses many of the more recent Swedish-influenced metalcore albums ― Killswitch Engage and All That Remains are just going through the motions now ― it still blends together by the end. Even standout tracks such as "With Honor" and "Unite" do little to suggest that the best of this genre isn't long gone. However, it's still better than what "metalcore" has become. (Facedown)