Monday, March 23, 2015

Undivided - "The Way Things Are"

Undivided are a hardcore/metal outfit from Rockland county,NY and "The Way Things Are" is their current full length album, released in the summer of 2014. Undivided serve up a seething, angry brand of hardcore. The band flawlessly melds street tough New York grooves with upbeat, punk-fueled thrash metal. A huge part of what has always set Undivided apart from the hardcore "norm" are the call/response vocals with frontman Dante's snarling rage filled voice and bassist Max's attitude filled screams complimenting each other perfectly. Album openers "World Of Delusion" and "Forgive Me Father" are great examples of how well Dante and Max handle their respective vocal duties all while squeezing catchy, heavy riffs out of their 6 and 4 stringed instruments respectively. Speaking of 6 strings, another weapon in Undivided's arsenal that displays their originality is the absolute clinic that shredder Nick Koykas puts on. Blazing solos sear through the speakers on tracks such as "Before I Die", "You Can Trust Me" and the aforementioned "World Of Delusion". One word that comes to mind while listening to this release is "solid", the band plays with much precision, all the riff changes and tempo shifts are extremely tight as evidenced in tracks like "It's Never Enough", "No Reason To Suffer" and the gritty, pavement pounding anthem "Every Inch Of Hatred" with it's riffs absolutely dripping with NYC underground, subway grunginess. "Blame Yourself" is a quick 1:35 shot of old school punk with it's infectious riffs and classic verse-chorus-verse formula which makes you want to chug a 40 oz. and jump in the circle pit! "Role Model" is absolute classic Carnivore worship colliding head on with Madball groove and thuggish style. The bass driven riffs and Dante's vocals recall early Peter Steele while the bridge sounds like something Freddy and the boys would have come up with on the "Demonstrating My Style" album, this song as well as "Every Inch Of Hatred" perfectly showcase Joe Dooling's sense of swing behind the drumkit. Lots of drummers can groove, but Joe is consistently "in the pocket" and he is really the backbone of this bands style. "Fiending On Friday" is a slow, churning tune, here Undivided deliver sludgy riffing in the vein of Crowbar while Dante and Max weave a tale about addiction. Album closer "Don't Even Think About It" recalls early Biohazard. Fast and thrashy verse and chorus meets a classic, moshpit friendly hardcore breakdown rife with inner city attitude and as heavy as a manhole cover. All in all "The Way Things Are" is Undivided showing us how it's done old school style. There's no pig squealing vocals, no ridiculous 1 note breakdowns and no plastic scene boy imagery. This band is and always has been the real deal, they are what true hardcore is meant to be, pushing the limits, mixing it up and showing tons of originality. If you are sick and tired of the nonsense that kids who work at hot topic are telling you is "hardcore" then you need to add "The Way Things Are" by Undivided to your music library. Hit the band up at hit the "like" button and ask how to get a physical CD, or if you'd rather have the MP3's you can download the album off iTunes as well.