Reviewing hardcore records has always been tedious, if not downright impossible. In a genre arguable more reliant on live performances than any other, it has often times proved difficult for bands to catch the proverbial "lightening in a bottle" and translate their intensity to the grooves of a 7 inch record.

Delaware's Doubledealer have a lot going for them: they presumably take their name from one of the more underrated Transformers and their record features a spoken word interlude from WWF legend Jake "The Snake" Roberts. They play an overwhelmingly metallic brand of hardcore, only drawing occasionally melodic elements from lead vocalist Max Davis' bellowing delivery and a few All Out War inspired riffing passages. The band inevitably draws comparisons to modern day kings of the hill Terror, as Davis sounds a tad "Vogelish" at times (although it's worth noting DD's lyrical content avoids the groveling scene politicking of the former). These guys go straight for the fucking throat and make no qualms about it.

The record opens with the appropriately titled "Intro", a feedback laced bit of mosh that flows seamlessly into the ferocious opening number "Tipping Point". The track immediately launches into a double bass laden circle pitting riff fest before opening up into an extremely tight mid paced assault. The word "tight" isn't being used here as a reference to my opinions, either; the band sounds as if they hit the studio after a few sleepless nights at their practice space. There is absolutely nothing sloppy about "Heathen Rising".

The title track is more of the same but manages to avoid monotony by introducing an ear catching lead guitar riff from the outset. We get more of these searing leads on instrumental track "Truth of the Beast". Doubledealer resists the urge to unleash full blown solo sections, instead tastefully complimenting the material without being overbearing. The same cannot be said for many of their "Master of Puppets" worshipping peers, so this is particularly refreshing.

The version of the record I downloaded for this review didn't include any liner notes, but unless my ears have failed me there is definitely a vicious guest appearance from LIfeless frontman Jeremy on standout track "Alone". The track features some incredibly mean tremolo picking and ends with an absolute monster of a breakdown that certainly lends itself nicely to the band's live performances. From there, rung out feedback leads into finally "So Sayeth", the record's longest offering. The song may be "Heathen Rising's" finest moment, calling to mind defunct Vogel-fronted Buffalo band Buried Alive in the record's chugging finale.

Doubledealer have quickly ascended the ranks of the tristate hardcore scene because they are, simply put, good old fashioned fun. I haven't had the pleasure of catching many of these tracks in a live setting yet, but if the previous performances I've seen from them are any indication, "Heathen Rising" is a worthy addition to the Delaware juggernaut's growing repertoire of hard hitting, no frills hardcore. Doubledealer is living proof that you don't have to reinvent the wheel to provide an interesting and worthwhile listen.