Against are one of the Brisbane bands that introduced me to local hardcore on a live basis in the early noughties. They always seemed to be pretty popular within the local South East Queensland scene, achieving a kind of luke-warm/moderate reception on a national basis though, due mostly I suspect to a constantly revolving line up, slow release rate and transient touring schedule. Apart from the odd hint at brilliance here and there (thanks mostly to a former mid term member that went on to form Abraxis), I could never generate a huge amount of personal interest, and I almost suspect that the bulk of their local popularity could be mostly attributed to the very fact that they were one of the only bands at the time to have achieved recordings with vaguely high end studio sounding qualities. They've always played a pretty solid (and arguably now dated) style of metallic mosh hardcore that takes heavy cues from bands of the day like Buried Alive, Despair, Until The End and Cast Aside. Maybe it's my ignorance, but I can't think of a single other band playing this style of hardcore right now, except maybe for Terror.
This is the bands fourth album, "Bring The End", and their first foray into vinyl thanks to my mate Craigos at Midnight Funeral Recordings out of Melbourne. 100 copies on this 'random' coloured wax, another 300 on black. Predictably, and regardless of another new line up compiled by only remaining original member and vocalist Greg, they take another stab at the exact same style of mosh that the band has always played. The most obvious differences would be the fact that this is probably the most 'studio' they have ever sounded (without sounding overdone I'll add), and the stark, and perhaps welcome progressions in Greg's vocal snarl. Those familiar with the band will likely understand what I mean when I say that his style in the past has always been of the unique and identifiable. His higher pitched approach has all but vanished at this point, replaced completely by a more suiting and tolerable low hardcore growl akin to Scott Vogel and his contemporaries. To be honest, I didn't expect to love this album, and I don't, and I don't think I ever will, but it definitely sounds great through my headphones right now. Certainly the most solid and concise release the band have constructed at this point, and a good example of heavy, semi polished metallic hardcore. I rarely attend shows in Brisbane anymore, and I never hit the places this band plays, but I can imagine a lot of local guys getting pretty rowdy to this.