For Fans Of
Imprisoned are a hardcore band in the purest sense of the word. Every song on ‘Hard To Kill’ is an absolute headbanger; if you’re a fan of unconventional song structures, incomprehensible angst and envisioning humanity burning in an abyss, this album is for you.
It’s not groundbreaking, but it’s memorable in the sense that hardcore fans new and old will flock to Imprisoned’s specific brand of fury.
The LP begins with an eerie spoken word excerpt and comes full circle by closing with a demonic one. In between is tightly packed shredding, chugging and a skilful, looming heaviness. ‘Damaged From Birth’ rocks with electric riffs and metallic guitars, while the eponymous ‘Imprisoned’ is sudden, underscored by shades of punk. ‘Deliver Me To Hell’ dives into dark, almost ambient instrumentals (with some uncharacteristic cleans) but doesn’t dwell there, leading to a build-up back to where Imprisoned are most comfortable. The experimentation of the song with atmosphere and suspense is commendable, and is done incontrovertibly well.
Having said that, not every aspect of ‘Hard To Kill’ is perfect. There are a few too many fade outs on the album and lyrics like, ‘you’re a prude/you’re a whore’ are crass and ultimately lazy (apart from being a turn off, in particular for female listeners).
Despite that, the record’s salvation is tracks like ‘The Promised Land’, which is topical, intense, assaulting and a sharp standout. Closer ‘Watch You Bleed’ is also a tip-off of Imprisoned’s musical potential, as the longer length of the song allows for its development, and by extension, a more in-depth shredfest.
It’s going to be interesting to see where the future takes Imprisoned, and whether or not they’ll pursue differentiating their music as a means to stand out in the scene.
‘Hard To Kill’ is distilled hardcore. Though it isn’t innovative, it is enjoyable, and a true sign that Imprisoned’s status in Australian music is going to continue its ascent. The cry ‘unleash the rage’ on the record’s titular track pretty much sums up Imprisoned’s musical ambitions.
1. A Verse For Forgiveness
2. Damaged From Birth
3. Pursuing Pain
4. The Promised Land
5. Etched Into My Mind
8. Deliver Me To Hell
9. Hard To Kill
10. Watch You Bleed