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Debtor - Bloodseeds

Maryland Matt   (180 reviews)

Posted: 07/10/2011 | Comments: 2 | Rate:

For those of you unfamiliar, Debtor is a spirit-filled hardcore band from Philadelphia, PA... and for those of you unfamiliar with the term "spirit filled", it is a designation for bands who focus their writing on their faith in Christianity and typically have a general message of positivity.

Before I get into this review, I know there is a lot of opposition to religion (mostly focused on Christianity, specifically) in hardcore. I am among those who welcome all beliefs with open arms into our scene... it is, after all, what this whole movement was based on... the freedom to speak your mind and follow your heart. If you keep an open mind to all facets of hardcore, spiritual or not... you will find a wealth of incredible bands out there... even if you don't agree with the message. I am not an apologist for any belief or creed, but the fact of the matter is you will be doing yourself an incredible injustice for being so closed minded as to immediately dismiss a band because of their personal views.

Now... on to 'Bloodseeds'. I have seen Debtor live and have their previous release (which is in constant rotation, mind you) so I was familiar with the style employed by this group of gentlemen before having this record placed in my hands. Upon my first full listen... I was completely floored. The level of musicianship and song composition here is nearly unmatched in modern hardcore. While lyrically on the opposing end of the spectrum, an easy musical and vocal style comparison for this band would be Ruiner. Many of their songs are comprised of swelling buildups and explosive crescendos of fast melodic (yet metal influenced) hardcore riffery. The overall sound of this record is very raw and is perfectly suited for them. Debtor makes great use of their extremely talented guitar players in this regard and I haven't heard playing of this style, at this high level of consistency since Strongarm/early Shai Hulud. Their rhythm section is also at the top of their game. The drumming and bass playing here is incredibly solid while never really flashy. To be honest, with this style you need to have a rock solid rhythmic backbone to carry the guitar riffs of this ilk and not be anything over-the-top or showy.

Vocally, Alan Popoli of Debtor is quite vicious. His voice cuts through this mix like a hot knife through butter and is a perfect compliment to the instrumentation. A direct comparison would be the very scathing and throaty Jason Berggren of Strongarm or Chad Gilbert of Shai Hulud but the real story of the vocals on this record is the lyrical content. Alan has crafted a soundscape that comments on the world as he sees it, all through the eyes of someone who has faith in a higher being. Whether the message he has portrayed is one that you subscribe to or not... his overflowing passion is undeniable and the bravery to make such a bold stance is commendable. Very rarely will you find a record that actually has some true weight to its message... and here you will find exactly that.

The bottom line is that this record is phenomenal, no matter how you label it. Call it spirit-filled hardcore or just plain hardcore. No matter how you cut it, its quality is irrefutable. Whether or not you agree with the message that Debtor is presenting, you have to respect the passion.

Do not sleep on this band.

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hardcore for life
23,826 Posts
I have no legs!
2 Posts
solid review

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