LabelRite of Passage
Tracklist1. Sorrow and Regret
2. Whiskey and Smoke
3. Fury and Chains
4. Steel and Misery
5. Time and Escape
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The twin brother of Defeater has finally shown his face in the form of Redeemer, a Christian melodic hardcore act out of Phoenix. They follow the same lyrical style as Defeater, which hasn't been overdone (yet). Tanner Swift's words are a little more personal; he even fooled me to believing that these were experiences he had. This is a concept EP of a realistic story about a drunk driver performing a hit and run (if you want to read the full synopsis, they mention it on one of their Facebook notes). Reviews can benefit greatly from inserting lyrics in appropriate sections, but there are too many great passages covering the whole of First Degree to even be able to pick and choose.
What this EP really lacks is diversity. Redeemer can write really incredible songs, but their problem lies in not being able to write songs that you can tell apart. Parts of these songs come back to me from time to time, but I'm not able to place what track it is I'm thinking about. It's not unusual for certain styles to fall victim to this curse, but Redeemer could try a little harder to help fans differentiate between songs. If there’s one track I’d choose to sum up the entire EP, it’d be the closing “Time and Escape.” This song is absolutely phenomenal in every way. Its words are completely moving and the riffs make you shiver. You’ll notice the lyrics reinforcing your emotions during this song. This is Redeemer at their absolute best and I wish I could judge First Degree exclusively on this track, because they’d get an extremely high score.
Hopefully by the time they write their next offering, they'll realize their potential and create a really diverse album that embodies the qualities they do possess. They have the main idea of emotional hardcore down; they just need to temper it. Rite of Passage Records does offer this EP for free, so everybody should grab it and give this a chance, regardless as to what genre of music you're into.