Released: 2008, Mediaskare Records
Blood Stands Still’s name might indicate they are a new band, but they have actually been around since 1999. The band formed in Southern California with the aim to “bridge the gap that hardcore has needed” by combining “east coast breakdowns with west coast mosh”. SALVATION THROUGH STRUGGLE is the third album from the band, and the first full length recording. The previous two albums were respectably recorded demos and despite some lineup changes, the music has continued to be consistent and predictable.
SALVATION THROUGH STRUGGLE is a typical California metalcore record, with a little more emphasis on the metal. The guitars crunch is pulverizing, the production is crystal clear, and the playing is well-executed. The other ingredients include the obligatory death and demons cover art, the shouted/barked tough guy vocals, the gang backing vocals, and yes a few moshes and breakdowns. Blood Stands Still wisely opens the album with the two best tracks. “Fight Harder” leads things off, and the very title of the song is a sign of things to come with a nice chugging riff and a rallying chorus. Basically every song from here to the end of the record advises us to fight hard and fight to live. Mark Williams belts out the patently original advice “Live for nothing, or die for something” on “Forever True” before a nice mosh, and if this lyric fires you up then you will love this record. The rest of the album is basically more of the same. All the metalcore i’s are dotted ant t’s are crossed. This is a competently done album, if a bit unoriginal. There are fourteen tracks on the album, which sounds like good value. However, each track is three minutes or less, so you have about a half hour of music all told.
In sum, SALVATION THROUGH STRUGGLE is a decent enough effort that offers nothing original to what has become a saturated genre. The whole effort would almost be a laughable parody of metalcore if it was not so serious. Those that worship the ground that Hatebreed and Sinai Beach walk on will probably find some salvageable material here, but the rest of us are left to wonder how many of these bands does the world really need?