THE KANDIDATE
"Until we are Outnumbered"

(Napalm)

01. Strength Through Diversity
02. Give Up All Hope
03. Shut 'Em Up
04. Distress and Decay
05. In Hell
06. ...We Conform to the Unrighteous
07. Live a Lie
08. The Kill
09. Enemy
10. Yours Truly

RATING: 6/10

In listening to THE KANDIDATE's (previously known as THE DOWNARD CANDIDATE) "Until we are Outnumbered", the opinion I have formed is similar to the one I had in a review of HATESPHERE's "Serpent Smiles and Killer Eyes". The breakneck and modern — and somewhat distinctively Danish — thrash metal of THE KANDIDATE is undeniably aggressive and nerve-fraying, yet only marginally distinguished and comprised of songs that too infrequently stick to the ribs.

How much the HATESPHERE comparison comes from the vocal contributions of Jacob Bredahl is debatable, though obviously relevant. Bredahl's trampoline-taut, rumbling down-tuned recording at Smart n' Hard Studio is certainly one part of it; the thunderous drum sound in particular is very much a staple of Bredahl recordings. Musically, "Until we are Outnumbered" is all bloody knuckles and broken teeth, at times coming with a death metal tinge (that low-end locomotive ENTOMBED thing), not to mention a hardcore bent (in a BARCODE kind of way). Melody is only a light and occasional emphasis, although songs like "Shut 'Em Up" and the vague punk nihilism (approaching d-beat) of "Distress and Decay" do stand out. Primarily though the songs work as bull-in-a-china-shop anthems to complete annihilation; they just aren't typically all that memorable and the guitar arrangements, while concrete-hard, are not always of the highest caliber. Oddly enough, the one track that is not of the schizoid, teeth rattling variety — instrumental "…We conform to the Unrighteous" – is one that always catches my attention.

"Until we are Outnumbered" stays above mediocre due to the buckets of piss and vinegar poured into the songwriting tank. It is way too edgy and in-your-face to ignore when played at full volume, that's for damn sure. Bredahl's rabid-dog delivery alone is enough to incite road rage. But the album is not one that will be remembered when the time arrives to compile year-end lists.

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