Year Of The Knife – No Love Lost (Pure Noise Records)

Delaware straight edge mob Year Of The Knife have been on the periphery of being the next breakout band from the hardcore scene and “No Love Lost”, is the album that should have tipped them over the edge, but a serious car accident in June of this year left the band in tatters with all 4 members suffering severe injuries. None more so than vocalist Madison Watkins who suffered a traumatic brain injury.

Bassist Brandon(and husband of Madison Watkins) discussed the new album and the months since the accident, saying: “After three months we’re finally gearing up to go home. We were in a terrible accident in Salt Lake City that left me concussed, Aaron with a broken femur and severed carotid artery, Andy with broken ankles, and Madi breaking almost everything and a traumatic brain injury. It’s been a long, long road but everyday brings new hope. Madi’s currently awake and alert, talking her head off, and doing constant speech, physical and occupational therapy. Like I said, it’s challenging but everyday is better. We’re looking forward to finally going home.”

“This record represents so many things for us. It’s Madi’s big debut, her second set of recordings and first ever LP singing for YOTK. In my opinion she CRUSHES. It was super hard to come to the decision to release the record while she’s still recovering. The record was originally supposed to start rolling out in July but with everything that happened we thought it best to wait. Now that Madi’s more aware of what’s going on I think she’ll be really excited. And we’re really excited to share this record with all of you. Our influences are all over the place for this record. This was the second time each of us wrote music for the record–like Dust to Dust where we each wrote a song, we all contributed. Madi even wrote a breakdown. It was an awesome experience learning how we each express ourselves musically. This is what I’ve got.”

With 9 tracks clocking in at 20 minutes, the brutality comes at you fast and leaves you pondering where the line is between hardcore and death metal. Slow murderous riffs, like on opener Sometimes quickly develop into ultra-fast blast beats in a second or vice versa as is the case on Wish while Madison’s Barney Greenway-esque vocal delivery gives the whole thing an extra bite.

The 48 seconds of Last Laugh brings a bit of Brutal Truth style grindcore into proceedings, but in mostly sticks to the hardcore/death metal template they’ve created. They end the album with future pit starters Return The Agony and No Love Lost where the huge grooves will have you swallowing your teeth, when the band (hopefully) return to the live circuit.

A savage album in every sense of the word No Love Lost has it’s roots in 90’s straight edge hardcore and death metal, but it’s also a landmark album for the future of our scene. Get well soon guys… Chris Andrews

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