After two 7” releases called Retribution and Eternal War, hardcore heavyweights Forced Order are back and ready to release their debut LP called Vanished Crusade on Revelation Records. This five piece band form Southern California consists of (ex-)members of Twitching Tongues, Harness, Disgrace and Soul Search and describe their sound as rampaging, metallic hardcore reminiscing of 90’s Cleveland bands like Integrity, Cold Blood and Birth Is Pain-era Ringworm. Vanished Crusade brings just that and more.
The album consists of 14 songs, starting with ‘New Forms’. Form the first notes, Vanished Crusade is filled with hard as nails hardcore mixed in with numerous tempo changes and transitions between complex and straightforward riffs and rhythms. Vocalist Nick Samayao screams franticly over ‘New Forms’ with so much hate and negativity singing “We exist, to watch you die”. Tracks like ‘Turn the Knife’, ‘The Pain Enclosed’ and ‘Retribution’ take up right where ‘Endless War’ left off with fast paced songs portraying a bleak outlook on the world. ‘Blind to Trust’ especially stands out. With 30 seconds it is the shortest song mixing hardcore in the style Harms Way and Redemption Denied with thrash metal reminiscing of Municipal Waste.
But Vanished Crusade has more to offer than just frantic hardcore songs. ‘Disintegrate’ for example is a song that would fit in any Twitching Tongues album with its ongoing tempo changes, dissonant chords and doom influences without losing their own specific sound and style. And ‘March of the Diseased’ mixes melodic and malevolent riffs with merciless vocals that will become instantly addictive. Forced Order has created an album that will have you hyped from the first song to the last. But what’s important to note, is that Vanished Crusade isn’t just a succession of tracks. The interlude ‘Ischys’ and acoustic track ‘Dechrau’ serve as a welcome breather between songs and make the album even darker and grittier than it already is.
My personal favorite track on Vanished Crusade is ‘Forced Order’. It’s one of the heaviest and most dynamic songs of the album. Flowing from a mid paced intro to heavy mosh part and even a solo, this track will have no problem getting the crowd to move. At the end, ‘Forced Order’ builds up to the heaviest breakdown of the album while vocalist Nick Samayao screams the hate-filled lyrics “New war, same enemy, draw the line, destroy the battle scene”.
Forced Order’s Vanished Crusade is definitely one of the best hardcore albums of 2015. It encompasses all types of extreme music and all tracks are executed to perfection. I sincerely advise you to buy this record and support the band. Oh, and if their United Blood set is anything to go by, you don’t want to miss seeing them play live when they are in your area. Forced Order will be touring the US with the Life & Death tour featuring Bane, Turnstile, Backtrack and Mizery. Dates and venues can be found here.
Track list – Vanished Crusade:
1. New Forms
3. Turn The Knife
4. Sense Walker
5. The Pain Enclosed
6. Blind To Trust
7. Forced Order
10. Seven Reams Of Fear
Written by Victor de Meijier