Review Summary: Whole lotta heart
You know those bands that once you listen to them it becomes immediately clear that they mean total and absolute business? Those bands that just grab you by the collar and shout ‘I GOT SOMETHING TO SAY SO LISTEN THE F*CK UP!’? Well ladies and gentlemen; I introduce you to hardcore band Reign Supreme
Hailing from the great city of Philadelphia, Reign Supreme is a self described ‘metallic hardcore’ band that plays a heavy blend of metalcore with a strong leaning on the hardcore genre. Generally known for their ‘tough guy’ appearance, their music is heavy laden with catchy riffs, gang shout-outs and, as one could guess in this genre, a plethora of breakdowns. While this might seem like a set up for failure and obscurity, what it most surprising about this band is that there really is no mediocrity to be found in this band at all. Completely mean heavy and in-your’s-face aggressive, the band takes hardcore to a new level with crafty song writing, insanely catchy well-placed riffs and an absolute crushing guitar sound even in a relatively higher tuning that most of their counterparts (drop D #). In their new album, Testing the Limits of Infinite
, Reign Supreme promised their fans a more melodic and overall better sound than their debut EP American Violence; and have they delivered, yes.
Testing the Limits of Infinite is a testament to every thing that Reign Supreme is. From the beginning of the opening track ‘Mother Superior’ to the closing track of ‘A Ghost in a City’, Reign Supreme constantly barrages the listener with some of the most accessible hardcore in the genre yet still makes the ears bleed to listen to. From buildup to buildup, Reign Supreme knocks one out of the field every time the first note is hit… they never let up, give no respite and show little mercy to the listener. Taking influence from metal giants like Hatebreed and blending it with the punk attitude of bands like Shipwreck AD, Testing the Limits of Infinite showcases a very special blend of punk, hardcore, heavy metal and metalcore all in one disc. The first four tracks of the CD tend to flow seamlessly together, much to the kin of Converges newest release Axe to Fall, they could almost be considered the same song. The tracks ‘And Come What May’, ‘False Prophets’, and ‘Slipping Away’ also tend to blend in well together as well, making for a great and interesting listen throughout.
One of the downfalls of the album as a whole is some of the smaller tracks that tend to blaze right through the album. Tracks like ‘Crushed by the Weight’, ‘In Absentia’, and ‘Failure’ burn hot at first listen but are quickly forgotten after they are played. Also the album as a whole generally lacks in substance and originality. This is not saying that Reign Supreme is merely a copy/paste band, its just saying that when their own band members admit to being ‘a generic hardcore band’ it gets a little hard to take this album seriously in the long run.
But all in all, Reign Supreme has crafted a solid and respectable debut on Jacob Bannons’ label Deathwish. What they promised to improve from the debut American Violence has been made and the melody, intensity and crushing production will put this band in the front of today’s hardcore bands. No one could have asked more from a band like this, it will leave the listener satisfied from top to bottom with this band. While the redundancy in this album can be a little off putting for some, no one can deny that Reign Supreme believe in what they say and what they play and that they put a lot more into each record then most other bands.