Review Summary: With Daggers shows immense potential in an energetic debut.
Melodic hardcore will always have a special place in my heart. It is where emotion truly shines. Don’t get me wrong, all out hardcore has its own flair and appeal, but there is just something about that moment when it is just a heart-wrenching scream accompanied by a single guitar line. It targets a part of the psyche that no other form of music can. Rochester, New York’s With Daggers understands this, very well, and seem to have a grasp on how to effectively use it in a way that belies their youth and recent formation (having been together less than a year at the time of this release.) With Daggers puts forth a confidence that shows a band with the potential to become a force in the melodic hardcore/metalcore genre.
is exactly what you should think of when you hear the term melodic hardcore as it is currently used, AKA following the path treaded by bands such as Misery Signals and Counterparts. What you shouldn’t think, however, is that this band is simply a re-hash of those bands. The dual vocals of Damon and Steven play off each other well and the guitarists and percussion prove themselves more than capable of keeping a lively and exciting vibe to the entire EP. There are wonderful little moments littered throughout the album that will surprise and impress (the halfway point of “Ad Infernos” is possibly the highlight of the album.) Unfortunately, as a result of not being together as a band for a long period, problems do arise. Although the band plays with great energy and there is certainly passion throughout, With Daggers inevitably runs into the issue of not truly standing out in a scene that is choked with bands playing similar styles. They do have tracks that will stick with you (namely “Sweetheart” and “Ad Infernos,”) but at the same time you will find yourself being reminded of other groups from time to time, which takes away from the EP’s strengths.
All things considered, Widower
is one hell of a debut for such a young band. The is certainly room for growth, and the songwriting lapses at times into what you’ve come to expect from others, but the passion and heart on your sleeve moments more than make up for it. With Daggers is a band with a very high ceiling, and Widower
is the first step in what is hopefully a long career. It will be very exciting when a full length debut comes around to see what they can do with more time together (and on the road) can do.