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After releasing their punishing 2008 album “Victims Or Killers”, Newcastle based powerhouse Dropsaw hit the road quite frequently before settling down to write and record what is certain to be one of the best Australian hardcore releases of 2010, in their third album “Hard Justice”. Recorded in San Diego with As I Lay Dying front man Tim Lambesis and Daniel Castleman (Austrian Death Machine, Winds Of Plague, Sworn Enemy, Impending Doom) the band has gained a heavier, world-class sound than on their previous releases, a sound that is definitely worth all the dollars they spent on the album.
While I am not a huge fan of the album’s intro track “Necropsy”, which features some spoken word dialogue from front man Jarrod McIntosh, the track sets the perfect platform for the album’s title track “Hard Justice”. The song presents everything Dropsaw have become renowned for – the frantic pace set by the drums, the blistering guitar work and Jarrod’s distinctive growl.
“This Is Hell” provides some of the best riffs to date from the band, and sees Jarrod at times producing heavier sounding vocals to avoid the vocals becoming monotonous throughout the release. The second half of the song is heavy as well without the use of a generic breakdown, showing that the band’s songwriting is above many other bands in the genre.
The following three songs in “Avarice”, “Defeated” and “No Horizon” are a winning trifecta, not back down for a single second, keeping the intensity and aggression of the album at an all time high, with McIntosh delivering some of his most fierce vocals to date.
“Withstand” doesn’t stray far from the formula already heard on the album, but when you’ve got something working this well for you, I can’t really see the need to alter it much at all. A more metal influenced can be heard on this album compared to previous releases, something which is quite evident in the two and a half minutes of fury named “Dead Dream”.
“Violent Outcast” sees McIntosh deliver some of the most hate filled lyrics the band has ever produced, and you can hear the fire coming from his voice through the speakers. Re-recorded from their previous album, “The Cobra” sounds miles ahead of the previous recording. All the band has done here is make a great song sound even better. All that is left is the unrelenting “Judgement Day” which closes out the record in a fashion that Dropsaw can be proud of.
With the addition of new guitarist Jason Parrish to the writing process, the band has achieved a more metallic sound than ever before, something that the band has been leaning towards doing for a while now.
Dropsaw have unleashed another 11 tracks of some of the most aggressive metallic hardcore you will hear this year. “Hard Justice” is further proof why there is absolutely no reason that Dropsaw can’t become one of the biggest hardcore bands this country has to offer.
Third albums are quite often a make or break experience for bands, and Dropsaw have definitely broken nothing negative at all.
2. Hard Justice
3. This Is Hell
6. No Horizon
8. Dead Dream
9. Violent Outcast
10. The Cobra
11. Judgement Day