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ALBUM REVIEW: Love Don’t Live Here – Lionheart

WORDS: James Weaver

It’s been four years since the last release from California’s LIONHEART, going somewhat against the modern trend of album cycles. But then, the hardcore quintet have hardly stuck to musical traditions. Now, in 2016, the band are ready to unleash their new opus, Love Don’t Live Here. But does this new offering break the mould of traditional hardcore?

One thing is certain about Love Don’t Live Here, this is a record of utter aggression. Opener, Pain, sets the pace, tone and feel of the record immediately quick. This is a record that doesn’t let up. Meaty riffs, ear-splitting breakdowns and immensely powerful vocals drive Love Don’t Live Here‘s aggression. Lead single, Keep Talkin, picks up the speed rapidly, oozing thrash metal and classic hardcore influence very strongly whereas title track, Love Don’t Live Here, focuses on hard-hitting, pit inciting, breakdowns to send the heart fluttering. It’s non-stop from start to finish, driving power and embodies the band’s anger in grand musical fashion.

When you think of hardcore, melody often takes a backseat as the style demands hard-hitting riffs and a strong vocal performance. LIONHEART incorporation of melody into Love Don’t Live Here is rather peculiar as vocalist Rob Watson‘s style fuses the trademark hardcore sound with elements of rap and R&B. With vocals that effortlessly roll off his tongue on New Enemies to the ferocious vocal delivery found on Lock Jaw, it really gives the band a unique style in the hardcore scene. It adds the memorability factor to the record, giving it real substance and style.

Love Don’t Live Here‘s groove, pummelling drumming, expertly delivered vocals and breakdowns that will shatter the eardrums is truly a wonderful display of modern hardcore. Fusing varying musical characteristics give a band a sound that is both aggressive and melodic at the same time, which is a very hard trait to accomplish given the style of the genre. As hardcore explodes in popularity, LIONHEART are certainly a band that injects fresh life into the movement and Love Don’t Live Here is surely a must-have in any fan’s library.

Rating: 9/10

Love Don’t Live Here is set for release on January 22nd via BDHW Records.

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