Review: Eisberg – Few Will Remain

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Label: BDHW Records

Every so often, a band will come your way that remind you why you feel in love with hardcore in the first place; where their blend of melody and hard-hitting riffs combine in those energetic, intense ways that take you back to your youth, making you feel like a teenager again in the best way possible. It’s that feeling that Eisberg give me, and never more so than on their new record Few Will Remain. Striking a masterful balance between the melodic and the brutal, with a sincerity and sense of conviction that cannot be faked, this release is one that exemplifies all that is good in hardcore. It’s been a long time coming – five years since their last tape, and seven since their original demo – but the wait has been more than worth it.

The first thing to note about Few Will Remain is that it hits hard. The songs are built on foundations of fast tempos, energetic riffs, and lent an extra edge by having shout-spoken vocals where the lyrics come through clearly. This last aspect adds to how strong the songs are; by having lyrics that are clear and can be related to – whether it’s tales of self-doubt, of overcoming hardships, or simply of trying to survive in our modern world, there’s an honesty to Few Will Remain that makes it accessible in the best possible way.

The lyrics are rooted in classic hardcore tropes, and so is the music; with its breakdowns, chugging riffs, and pounding drums, Few Will Remain will sound familiar to anyone who has listened to practically any classically-rooted hardcore in the past thirty years. Yet that’s not to say it sounds old or tired; rather, the opposite is true. Eisberg take the classic sounds of bands like Madball and Cro Mags, infuse them with a touch more melody, and create something that is instantly recognisable as old-school hardcore without ever sounding derivative.

At eighteen minutes, Few Will Remain is a fairly concise record, but this is to its strength. These seven tracks race by with infectious energy, each one sounding better than the last. That guest spots from members of bands including Dead Swans, AYS, and Venom Prison don’t inherently provide highlights on the record should speak to just how high the quality is here (though the closing section of final track ‘Sealed Your Fate’, with Venom Prison’s Larissa Stupar providing a bloodletting performance, is undeniably noteworthy). Indeed, picking out highlights feels slightly redundant – Few Will Remain is a record of such consistently high quality that to pick out a handful of moments would be to miss the bigger picture, which is that this is hardcore of the highest quality. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve listened to this record, but Few Will Remain still sounds as energetic, inspiring, and cathartic now as it did on the first play.

Few Will Remain is due for release on 7 September 2018. It can be pre-ordered digitally on Bandcamp, and on vinyl and CD via BDHW.

 

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