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Give 'em hell! - 83%

Vautour, October 8th, 2012

Liar have been one of the most influential early European metalcore bands, drawing inspiration from Earth Crisis and other early vegan straight-edge "metal" bands - themselves inspiring countless others, famous examples being Heaven Shall Burn and Caliban.

But while both of the latter are still considerably successful, Liar have never had their mainstream breakthrough, mostly due to the fact their sound is a lot rawer than that of many modern-day metalcore bands. Musically, they are basically a groove-oriented thrash-metal band - you won't find any post-Gothenburg harmonies or clean emo singing here. This is pure aggression.

Although "Liar's Hell" isn't considered a European metalcore classic as some of their earlier albums are, it is closer to perfection than any of their other output. Vicious mixture of death and thrash metal riffs? Check. Intense screams? Check. Apocalyptic atmosphere? Check. Memorable guitar leads? Check. Some slight experimentation? Check. And the list goes on. As usual for the genre, most of the songs are a lot alike - but at the same time, all of them stand out because of details. "Sons of Judas" has its howling chorus, "Man's Ruin" adds some Integrity-style riffing to the mix and so on. The production is the icing on the cake: Forget Pro-Tools, this actually sounds how Liar sounded in a live setting. Everything can be heard really well, but nothing sounds over-produced at all.

This is pretty much a relic of a time long gone - a time when metalcore bands didn't sing about heartbreak and didn't bother with mascara at all. A time when lyrics had meaning and metalcore didn't mean you recycled the same In Flames riff over and over again, just adding clean choruses and breakdowns in different sections. If you want honest, down-to-earth and aggressive old-school metalcore, this is for you.