Thick as Blood – Embrace
Release Date: April 14, 2009
Record Label: Eulogy Recordings
Today’s hardcore scene isn’t the hardcore of old. The scene, which used to based highly on positivity, has progressively become more and more violent. Instead of friends coming together in support of their scene, they’re going to shows to beat up people who don’t hold the same values they share. Bands routinely egg on the kids at shows, encouraging fans and their violent behavior. Also, the breakdown has become more and more abundant, with most bands trying to fit in as many breakdowns as they can in a three minute song. In a genre that has suddenly become "trendy," there have been far too many bands coming in and putting out the same exact music that's been heard a thousand times before. With originality nearly impossible to come across, it's become a tedious undertaking trying to find bands in the genre that are actually worth listening to.
Thick as Blood are in no way an original band; their songwriting and style of music has been done many times before. Embrace, like many other hardcore releases, is also overloaded with breakdowns around every corner. However, Embrace manages to stand out from the oversaturated crowd of albums coming out of the hardcore scene.
Straight from the beginning, Embrace hits hard. “All or Nothing” kicks ff right in your face with plenty of aggression and energy. Simply put, if you like hardcore music or breakdowns, you’ll love Embrace. It takes no more than a minute listening to Embrace to see that the band takes a huge influence from hardcore vets Terror, which is definitely not a bad thing, and while Thick as Blood overuses the breakdown, they at least make sure that they do it right. Unlike most bands that come off like they just copy and paste breakdowns into their songs, the breakdowns on Embrace come off naturally. For example, "Decimator" and "All Or Nothing" start off fast, building momentum until everything stops in an "oh shit" moment before a breakdown kicks in. “Horizons” features Thick as Blood playing through a short melodic interlude, which is a nice change of pace from the rest of the album. The hidden rap at the end of “Misery Loves Company” is definitely entertaining to say the least.
In the end, Embrace is simply better then just about everything else coming out of the hardcore scene this year. If you’re into the genre, Embrace should fill the void left open by most other bands in this scene. However, if you’re not into breakdowns, Embrace brings little to the table. The album also suffers from a bit of repetition and lack of originality, but that’s only an inevitability. If you've been waiting for something worthwhile to come out of the hardcore scene or you just really like Terror, Embrace is what you’ve been waiting for.