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Weakening the Structure

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Album Review

With commercial metalcore clearly the flavor of the month during the mid-2000s, Maryland's Recourse attempted to flip the equation around with their first full album, Weakening the Structure's hardcore metal. Get it? Yes, it's a subtle inversion, and maybe even a dumb one at that; but it quickly gains legs as the album starts to unfold. Initial offerings like "Frail Existence," "Weight of the World," and the title track have nothing to do with such hallmark metalcore ingredients as melodic vocals, guitar harmonies, or, god forbid, solos — exchanging them for hardcore's more unadorned, blue-collar songwriting aesthetics and true-to-life lyrics often dealing in sociopolitical topics. Which is to say there's hardly a trace of abstract poeticism to be found here (hooray!), and when it does dare show its face in the likes of "Point Blank" and "Eyes Burned Shut," it's generally as a take-charge call-to-action — never that post-emo and nu-metal whining bullsh*t. Traditional heavy metal devices also surface in the more complicated and involved riffs heard on "Stolen Innocence," the bloody imagery described in "End of Suffering," and the fact that John Gallagher — vocalist and guitarist with grindcore favorites Dying Fetus — acted as producer and lent his guttural shouts to "Scorched Earth" here. Of course the very same attributes may have some critics accusing Recourse of being one-dimensional and lacking in variety when compared to bands coming to hardcore from a metallic origin, instead of the other way around; but try evaluating mosh pits for reactions, and chances are these guys will have the more violent one of the bunch. In any case, Weakening the Structure has the sort of punching-bag effect that will leave most hardcore-minded metal fans feeling well-worked-over by its conclusion. [This version of the album contains bonus material.]


Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s

Like so many mid-2000s bands, Maryland's Recourse merge elements of hardcore and metal into a Molotov-metalcore cocktail of a highly explosive nature. Only, in Recourse's case, that cocktail's main thrust owes more to the former genre's working-class ethic than the latter's similarly underground but somewhat more high-brow and embellished ambitions. Founded in 1999, the quartet gradually gained followers while honing material and touring around the Eastern Seaboard, eventually putting out a self-titled...
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Weakening the Structure, Recourse
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