Review Summary: The missing link.
Ever sit and listen to a band like Converge, or maybe Zao, and just wonder how in the world the sonic blueprint created in 1981 by the legendary Minor Threat morphed into such a cacophonous wall of hardcore aggression? No? Well, I guess I'm alone on that one.
But I'm sure curiosity has struck you at some point in your musical ventures, regarding hardcore's evolution and fusion with metal, and just where it all started getting so goddamn intense
. Sure, Integrity brought hardcore and metal together with their monolithic debut, Those Who Fear Tomorrow, and Rorschach took it even further with their additions of dissonance and noise. And you can look as early as 1984 with the band Siege, and the birth of thrashcore. But what about the monstrous vocals, the extreme speed riffing and noisy chaos? All traits so common today. Surely it didn't just happen over night.
Well, it did. Sort of. This is where Acme comes in. A short lived German act from the now-legendary Bremen scene in the early 1990's. Acme were, well, they were angry. Really
angry. And they proved it wasn't just a facade. Taking the harsh, noisy hardcore styling of bands like Infest, adding influences from grindcore and metallic hardcore, they brought metalcore to the next level of intensity.
Relentless drumming, savagely sharp and massive riffing, and an absolute beast of a vocalist (dude makes Jacob Bannon sound like a parakeet rather than a pterodactyl by comparison) all contributed to their forward stepping of the genre. Yet, as with all metalcore, they knew how to retain an atmosphere of darkness. Through this, they helped bring metalcore to its final frontier.
To Reduce the Choir to One Soloist is a compilation of everything they produced during their short (but important) career as a hardcore band. And while they may not have had the most prolific career, this release marks a huge stepping stone in metalcore history, and absolutely deserves a spot in any fan's collection.