Hardcore in Texas is alive and well. Over the years bands like Iron Age, Bitter End, Far From Breaking, Hardside, Power Trip and Sold Short emerged and all made a name for themselves. Die Young did so too. Since 2002, this band from Houston has put out a lot of jamming releases. In 2009, Die Young chose to go on hiatus, but in 2013 the band got back together. Now in 2014 they’ve come with a new EP called Chosen Path and the herd of fans they left behind in 09 will be happy with this one.
First song ‘Enter’ is an acoustic introduction that flows over in heavy, groovy metallic hardcore riffs that a lot of current bands can learn from. In terms of sound it’s early/mid 90’s hardcore/metalcore worship. Think of Trial and Integrity, add a twist of Carry On and Unbroken, and you’ve got a pretty good idea of what Die Young sounds like. ‘Chosen Path’ has a crossover feel to it with its thrashy riffs only to go back to that classic hardcore sound with the heavy breakdown. That thrash metal feel is back when the solos kick in. Interfaces with Alpha & Omega are noticeable too and I wouldn’t be surprised if A&O took influences from Die Young. ‘Conditioned’ is no-breather at all; hardcore as hard as bricks smashed in your face. The songs has slow and groovy parts that are sublime.
‘Incremental Gains’ starts slow and steady and breaks down into heavy crushing hardcore when the vocals kick in. I come to realize that instrumentally Die Young and Terror are very similar on many occasions, The main difference, however: Die Young is actually good. ‘Rite of Passage’ again holds that thrash metal/crossover vibe with its fast and strong riffing. Combine that with some furious old school NYHC and you get a bulldoze of a song. Cro-Mags on steroids wouldn’t be as hard as this song. ‘Return To The Earth’ is a summary of the EP. It’s hard, it’s moshy, it’s riffy, it has a cool solo packed in there. Somehow it feels a bit more punk too. It’s an expected ending but a good one nonetheless.
Die Young isn’t the most original band and doesn’t show a lot of diversity on this release but who cares? Why change something that works for you. They’ve been around since ’02 and don’t think they’ll let them be told what to do. Die Young plays metallic hardcore with a thrashy vibe and they do it perfectly. Die-hard fans will love this from the first second but I think any hardcore fan will at least like one or two tracks of this record. So go check it out! For fans of: 90’s hardcore, metallic hardcore, 90’s metalcore, crossover, Integrity, Alpha & Omega, Trial, Terror, Unbroken, Carry On, Ringworm, Bitter End.
Chosen Path is available in Europe via Ugly and Proud Records for only €9.00. It’s a one-sided 12″ with an etched b-side. US folks can get Chosen Path through Headfirst Records here.
Track list – Chosen Path:
2. Chosen Path
4. Incremental Gains
5. Rite Of Passage
6. Return To The Earth
Written by Nigel