I'm honestly surprised by how much I'm liking this. Endwell has always been really hit or miss with their hardcore path and while I definitely prefer it to the "popcore" album they released prior they always sounded so dull and too clean. Here not only has production cleared up but the vocals have improved immensely, and when the band said they took a "black metal influence" on this album I'm surprised by how much they weren't kidding. While there are some parts I feel are unnecessary and again dull, I hope Endwell continues in this direction.
Ya know, hardcore is one of those genres that seem to impress me less and less lately. 'Punishment' lives up to it's name as it's a pretty punishing album, filled with anger driven tracks that feel all too familiar. There wasn't anything here that really grabbed me and therefore I was left hanging through the entire album waiting for something to make me change my mind. Three strikes, you're out.