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Uphill Battle
Wreck of Nerves
May 2004
Released: 2004, Relapse
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: JP

I’m not the world’s biggest fan of metalcore. I can enjoy most grind-core but it is not my favorite sub-genre either. So, when I had the opportunity to hear the band Uphill Battle my expectations were not high. The cover is kind of plain, weird band name, weak song titles, vague and uninspired lyrics and frankly I haven’t been super-keen on the some of the more derivative metal core stuff coming up on Relapse and even Century Media lately. So I didn’t really have my hopes up and consequently was pleasantly surprised.

These guys are very decent! They have hardly any of the elements that diminish my enjoyment of music, (breakdowns, monotone shouting, lack of soloing, guitar harmonic squeals) that are common in that sub-genre. Instead we getting blazing speed, insane drumming, raw and dynamic vocals that are delivered with intensity and conviction.

Hell, all this genre over-categorization tends to be self-defeating…maybe I’m showing my age but 10 years ago this would have been labeled a plain old (fast) death metal album. Uphill Battle remind me of a slightly slower and groovier version of Origin at times. It is crushing, heavy as hell, a solid sonic wall of punishment. Uber-production values cranked to the max add to the mix. It all rips buy in a blur of pain. I don’t know how high they rank on the scale of originality but that has never bothered me. Worth checking out.
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