In November 2012, Pennsylvania’s Rock Bottom self-released their debut full length Down With The Devil digitally. Since that time, this record has seen not only great praise, but was also released on CD by Marked For Death Records and this review is intended to inform everyone of the long awaited vinyl treatment by Harvcore Records. This is definitely news worth reporting since this band has released some of the most undeniably vicious metallic hardcore recordings of the past decade. Both Born II Hate and Your Demise have been in heavy rotation for me since their releases and I had no doubts that their debut full length, Down With The Devil, would fall right in line with them. What I didn’t anticipate was how completely floored I would be by this record.

Every single facet of Rock Bottom’s sound has been ratcheted up on this record. The production here is stellar. I find that all too often bands of this nature have a hard time straddling that line between their natural rawness and having a shiny finished production. If you lean too far in either direction it is very easy to lose power in your presentation… but that is not the case here as Down With The Devil is equally as abrasive as it is polished. Breaking it down further, the guitars sound massive and the riffs are being played with a level of precision that surpasses anything else this band has accomplished. Also… other bands in hardcore should take notes because you could set your watch to the rhythm section of this band. These players take a tried and true approach to playing this style and push it to the next level. It is a breath of fresh air to hear a hardcore band make their sense of groove so important in their sound since this really seems to be a lost art in recent years. Layered on top of all of these points is the venom spewing vocal performance and along with that is something I would like to touch on. This is the record that marks the return of original vocalist, Dion… and while their previous EP, Your Demise (which was recorded without him), was a fantastic record… it just didn’t have the same sense of urgency and scathing nature of their first release, Born II Hate. That missing piece to the puzzle is certainly back in place on DWTD and I, for one, welcome it with open arms.

This is one of the best hardcore full lengths released in the past several years. If you haven’t given them a listen before today, Down With The Devil is a perfect place to start and if you already love this record... now is your chance to own it on vinyl.

Rock Bottom’s Down With The Devil hits the streets on August 13th via Harvcore Records. Buy every color and be the coolest kid on the block.