Review Summary: Balls to the wall hardcore that makes you feel like a jerk.
Alex CF came into the spotlight with his all-vegan band, Fall of Efrafa, in a raw style of blackened crust and post-metal, and from the influence of FoE, CF has spawned two bands: Light Bearer, which is a band that leans solely on the post-metal spectrum of the FoE sound. And then there’s Momentum, which focuses solely on the hardcore side of the FoE spectrum. And, like all his projects, Momentum has a concept. Fall of Efrafa had a concept based around the ideas and stories in the classic children’s novel Watership Down
. Light Bearer’s concept is “an allegorical tale which directly derails monotheistic mythology”. And this leads to Momentum, which has two concepts. The band’s first album, Whetting Occam’s Razor
, is another atheistically themed affair. 2012’s Herbivore
is themed around veganism. Here on Herbivore
, Momentum provides balls to the wall aggressive hardcore with the simple idea of drilling vegan ideology into the listener’s head, the only way Alex CF knows how.
Musically, this album is as solid as it could ever be. Herbivore’s
sound is a fast, lean, hard and melodic. The first seven tracks clock in at thirteen minutes, and band doesn’t waste any time bursting out a bunch of one-minute burners with explosive riffs and d-beat drumming all under Alex CF’s throaty and powerful vocal style. His lyrics don’t beat around the bush; he has a message to spread to the listener whether they like it or not.
”Their lives are in your hands,
they’re in your throat, rotting inside of you.”
“When did we crown ourselves overseers of their fate?
Speciesism permits us to disregard emotion,
it belittles and objectifies those unable to dissent.
To prostitute their bodies,
to suffer indignant deaths,
to bleed their lives away,
to satisfy a taste.”
You can go into this record just for the blasting hardcore jams, but you can’t get away from the message. Whether it be the sampling throughout half the tracks involving little sound clips of people discussing the subjects of eating meat and its effect on the planet (the final track featuring a nine-minute speech by Philip Wollen), or it be the confronting lyrics, comparing such affronting issues to that of racism (“the same rule of thumb applies to generations/who considered some inhuman based on the colour of their skin”
), and rape (“Forcefully impregnated/no consent/denigrated/forced to present a vast milk yield/through mechanised enslavement”
), among other things. It’s surprising just how much scrutiny CF can pack into such a short runtime. The final track essentially ending the album at the fifteen-minute mark, before a five-minute silence and a hidden track (which includes the aforementioned nine-minute speech), musically the album is somewhere between fifteen-to-twenty minutes of unabashed hardcore that will take the listener aback.
And while the album’s concept does feel rather pretentious, or obnoxious, it doesn’t fail to get the listener thinking in the final moments of the hidden track, an unsuspecting cover of The Smith’s ‘Meat is Murder’, where Alex CF wailing Morrissey’s iconic lyrics, “It’s not natural, normal or kind/the flesh you so fancifully fry/the meat in your mouth/as you savour the flavour of murder/no, no, no, it is murder/oh, and who hears when the animals cry?”
. This one won’t leave you to just enjoy it for its meaty hardcore riffs and fiery solos, no, it nags at you, and if you don’t have the patience to listen to what it has to say, this isn’t for you.