Will to Live
Tested and True
I've been going through files and straightening up lately. During this cleaning process, I found two reviews that have never been posted online. They slipped through the cracks somehow. Here's the first of the two: Will to Live. This review originally appeared in No Funeral #1. -BNF
Houston’s long-time hardcore heroes Will to Live deliver the goods with their Spook City debut Tested and True. Since 1998, Will to Live has spread its message of unity and loyalty across the country through neck-breaking, pit-inducing hardcore. The new record continues to open minds and melt faces while keeping that old-school spirit alive.
The most notable thing about this album is its production. The recording and mixing are very slick and each instrument and the vocals are individually audible on every song. Upon subsequent listening sessions, I found this polished production to be an asset rather than a detriment.
Too often, a record is hastily recorded so that a band will have a release available. Even worse is when a band, in an effort to be more underground than everyone else, intentionally produces a muffled effort.
Tested and True is the sort of hardcore record that would appeal to more moderate metal and punk listeners. I’m sure this wasn’t the bands intent. However, through their desire to make the best record they could, Will to Live has reaped an unexpected benefit.
Regardless of how it sounds, there need to be songs worth listening to, right? Don’t worry. Will to Live brings it. They play classic NYHC style hardcore mixed with mid-90s neo-thrash. Think Judge and Sepultura. With Scott from Terror and Ray from Full Blown Chaos on guest vocals, Rob to Live delivers pit-friendly anthems that encourage the disgruntled youth to stick it out through the hard times and stay true to themselves.
Fortunately, Will to Live doesn’t fall into the trap of playing breakdown after breakdown that befalls so many bands these days (looking at you Bury Your Dead). Tested and True features a classic sound that doesn’t sound old or modern hardcore that rises above the fads.
Will to Live - Tested and True
10 months ago