"Weakening the Structure"

(This Dark Reign)

01. Frail Existence
02. Point Blank
03. Weight of the World
04. Weakening the Structure
05. Nature of Conflict
06. Eyes Burned Shut
07. Fallout
08. Scorched Earth
09. Stolen Innocence
10. End of Suffering

RATING: 6.5/10

"Too hardcore to be death metal, too death metal to be hardcore" is the lead sentence in the press release for Maryland's RECOURSE. There's some truth to the statement, as "Weakening the Structure" hits like a hardcore album, muscled riffs, sledgehammer rhythms, and Troy Norwood's mid-range tough guy barks leading the way. The riffs and rhythms are of middling variety, although the frenetic hyper speed pace played with balls-out abandon is quite punishing. The death metal part is more of a vibe. The pummeling, double bass driven and in your face drumming of Rich Schaefer does lend credence to the death metal description.

Just don't call this a metalcore release because it's really not accurate. Some of what I hear reminds me of PISSING RAZORS' style, the death metal and hardcore elements aside. The band's genre blend works for the same reasons that JUNGLE ROT's works, though the delivery is different. HOW IT ENDS pulled off a similarly effective feat on "So Shall it Be" (Thorp Records), almost what DYING FETUS might sound like if they played more of a hardcore-based style. I've no idea how much John Gallagher (DYING FETUS) influenced RECOURSE's style, but his production gives the album a tightly wound, pressure-filled sound that hits incredibly hard. John also provides some FETUS-like vocals on "Scorched Earth", one of the better songs on the disc, mainly because it offers a bit more variety, comparatively speaking (something to consider for the next release).

The more I listened to "Weakening the Structure", the further in the claws sunk into flesh. Songs like "Frail Existence", "Point Blank", and "Nature of Conflict" slam along convincingly, if a little "samey" (mainly the vocal patterns that ride the choppy rhythms). For a death metal and hardcore fan like myself, the album basically works. I can see how RECOURSE could hold its own with the crowd on a bill with MISERY INDEX or DYING FETUS, as well as on a hardcore bill with the likes of TERROR. I bet the live show is a scorcher. I'm interested to see what the band comes up with on the next album.


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