Released: 2004, Victory Records
Reviewer: Lord of the Wasteland
Ohio’s Premonitions of War blend hardcore with thrash, grind and some cool rhythms on LEFT IN KOWLOON. Don’t get too comfortable in your La-Z-Boy, though--the 12-track CD clocks in at just over 26 minutes! Why do hardcore records have to be so short? It seems like bands of this genre have a limit of 30 minutes that they cannot exceed! WHY?!
Erik Rutan (Hate Eternal/ex-Morbid Angel) has taken the band under his wing and created an unrelenting CD that should earn Premonitions of War a place in the hardcore underground. The lyrics are pretty out there and don’t exactly match the angst and aggression played out in the music. In the band’s defense, this isn’t the typical hardcore record that blends the songs together and essentially sounds like one long track. They aren’t afraid to mix things up and dabble in different elements of heavy music. “Cables Hum Overhead” is a bizarre feedback-laden track that repeats it’s sole lyric, “Lines stretched out to storm and torch,” for nearly 5 ½ minutes. “The Octopus” features a cool groove and isn’t quite as speedy as the rest of the tracks. “Layover” and “Capsule Hotel” feature some impressive double-bass drumming and “Dim Light District” utilizes a great stoner riff.
While I’m not a huge hardcore fan, I do enjoy the heavy elements of the music. What I don’t like are the meathead lyrics that cater to the meathead audience, but something tells me Premonitions of War aren’t your typical hardcore band. I don’t think you’ll find them with sideways baseball caps and wife-beater shirts on barking into the microphone and yelling at each other, “Yo, punk ass!!” If there is such a thing as the “thinking man’s hardcore band,” Premonitions of War is it.
KILLER KUTS: “Layover,” “The Octopus”