With Daggers, a hardcore band out of Rochester, NY released an EP titled “Widower” on January 3rd, 2012. From start to finish this album is raw, angry and depressing as all hell, especially if the lyrical content has real meaning to the band (which I have been unable to find out as of yet).
Combining sounds of hardcore/metalcore influences, With Daggers are a band of passion when it comes to the Mic. The musical influences seem to be driven by newer school hardcore such as This is Hell, Defeater or some mild Terror like riffs. They definitely have a metal flare to the hardcore (like This is Hell). “Widower” was recorded professional by The Bick Hit House and it came out solid as well.
The opening track, ‘Monologue’ starts furious, with almost a grunge undertone to it. The guitar work reminds me a lot of Modern Life is War (that’s a good thing Spencer and Joe). The drum work is precise and stays to a hardcore tone. Vocally they stick to a metal undertone/hardcore influences scream. Damon’s shrieks are some of the better hardcore screams I have heard in awhile, reminded me a bit of locally breed Swamp Thing. Lyrically this song is about as depressing as them come from a hardcore band.
clap along and sing, SO CLAP ALONG AND SING, my monologue; my story begins with my brother dying…, my son never made it out of the womb, my wife ended her life with a gun…til this dying world comes home – note, when and if I find the lyrics I will update this.
The lyrical content throughout the album seems to focus on the death or suicide of the wife through the album. Real life or concept this album is extremely heavy on the heart, and leaves you listening over and over again even though it will drain you physically.
‘Sweetheart’ is the second song, which carries a slower brutality to it. ‘Ad Inferos’ is the next track and the first song which brings in your typical hardcore dancing on board. “There is no God…no one who can hear your cries” rings loud and clear and you clear the dance floor with your fists. ‘Cliff Hanger’ blends together the metal/hardcore world and reminds me a lot of the Defeater sound as well. The short EP finishes off with ‘Leap of Faith’ and it ends as strongly as it began. The growls are deep, and you even see a bit of a singing side to With Daggers, not forced and well placed. This is probably the closest song on this album to metalcore. Around the 1 minute, 30 second mark comes an elegant guitar solo with a softer scream/spoken ending that brings the song to a solid slowdown until the finishing 40 seconds of fury.
All in all, With Daggers are an excellent band that I cannot wait to hear more from. ‘Widowers’ is everything you want to hear from a hardcore band, and if you want depressing music look no further. The album has as much passion as you can get from a band and I hope it continues on with a full length as I know they are writing one.