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No-Joke Crossover - 90%

Insurgent616, January 10th, 2010

More than a year ago, I was introduced to hardcore punk with bands such as Dayglo Abortions, Toxic Narcotic, Black Flag, and Aus-Rotten, the latter of the four being my favorite punk band. I was previously into thrash bands like Stormtroopers of Death and M.O.D. whose lyrics tend to be funny, but at other times tend to question the ideals of society, a lyrical theme I enjoy out of every topic in metal. When I heard crossover, I used to think of songs about milk and songs that jokingly pay tribute to dead musicians. Behind Enemy Lines is a crossover band that tackles political and social issues, rather than go into silly tangents a la thrash metal.

When I found a few songs on the internet, I was surprised to hear Dave Trenga, vocalist of Aus-Rotten, belting out his recognizable gritty, screaming voice. This had me hooked immediately. After buying The Global Cannibal from a local record store and listening to it, I became addicted to the sound.

There are certain parts of this album that separate BEL from other generic hardcore bands that tend to do the same thing. I tend to compare BEL to Leeway for focusing on homophony, polyphony, and musical textures rather than blast beats and fast 4-chord riffs, though they do fuse harmonies with thrash metal and hardcore punk characteristics. This is the main reason that I admire this band, for being complex without becoming so complex, it's pompous and annoying.

The vibes given with each song varies from mid-paced and dramatic, to an all out assault. The lyrics only make you feel it harder. "As Long As I'm Safe" and "The Politics Of Hunger" are great examples of setting an example lyrically of how much Americans for the most part are extremely greedy and introverted. "Hooked On Christ" and "The Army Of God" are typical anti-christian ballads, which is why I didn't give this album a 100% rating. I'm not a believer of anything, but I hate to hear the same old anti-religious stuff over and over again. The album had me at the first second, but several tracks later, it had me questioning whether or not I wanted to keep listening to the same nonsense again and again.

Overall, this album is worth every penny of the $13 I paid for it. I'm willing to check out the other two CDs, as long as they continue with the creativity, lyrically and musically. I recommend this band to anyone who is tired of the generic nature of punk bands today.