Beartooth, to me, is a Hardcore act that’s on the cutting edge of the music scene today. Whilst they formed as recently as 2012, they’re already leading the charge with a uniquely heavy-yet-melodic sound that sets an example for others to follow. The group is founded around young dynamic vocalist, ‘Caleb Shomo’ (formerly of Metalcore band “Attack Attack!”), and the raw aggression and emotion he belts out in their songs are usually as catchy as they are crushing.

Beartooth first burst onto the scene with 2014’s Disgusting, which brought us tracks like the furious “The Lines” and the infectious “In Between”; tracks that I still find frequently stuck in my head to this day, and I was pleased to find Beartooth’s latest offering, Aggressive, as an equally effective follow-up.

It’s not long into the title track (the first track on the album) that it becomes clear that Beartooth haven’t let up with their signature blend of heavy, energetic and aggressive sound. Despite the self-deprecating last track’s claims to the contrary, Caleb Shomo walks among the kings of the Hardcore genre today; he is every bit as much a beast as the album artwork suggests.

Shomo’s visceral vocals are what I love about Beartooth—probably even more so than their inventive and crushing riffs. The delivery is raw, emotional, and fluid, with the harshly delivered screams fading or switching to clean singingas required by the track. The result is a melodic, catchy, slickly produced and yet still heavy sound that would appeal in some way to anyone, regardless of music taste or preference.

Beartooth have created a collection of songs that make you want to say “Hey, check out this chorus!” or “Hey, listen to this riff!” when listening to music with friends in the car, and that’s how music should be: catchy, enjoyable, and shareable.

Aggressive will go undoubtedly go down as one of my favorite records of this year. Whether you accept its given designation of Hardcore or consider it more Punk Rock or Heavy Metal is beside the point. I think fans of any of these genres will be able to listen to the album and come to the same conclusion I did: Beartooth is on the forefront of a scene that’s clearly alive and well. “If rock and roll’s dead” Shomo sings, “you can kill me right now.” I share the same sentiment.

Release date: 03-06-2016
Reviewer: Chase Lindley
Score: 10

Chase Lindley

This author is no longer associated with Metal On Loud Magazine.

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