Review: Undawn – 'Justice Is'

Another day, another metalcore band to review… if you love the ‘core then this is definitely one you should check out! Today’s subjects are a talented bunch of youngsters hailing from the Netherlands called Undawn. Forming in 2007, they released debut album ‘Jumpers’ in 2011 and began making a name for themselves in their native territory, earning support slots for the likes of Textures and Soulfly recently. ‘Justice Is’, their second album, was released just days ago on the Graviton Music Services label.

First track ‘Coming Home’, also the album’s first single, pins their flag to the mast immediately, slamming into fierce and passionate metalcore in the style of While She Sleeps and A Day To Remember, and even a bit of Crossfaith, with blastbeats tumbling throughout, and a bounce that’s quite irresistible. It’s a perfect choice for lead single.

It’s patently clear throughout this album that Undawn stand for young, modern metalcore; Kerrang! TV would love these guys. There’s very little in the way of straying from the metalcore path, or adding in ‘surprise’ ingredients. What they do provide is straight up metalcore tracks, such as ‘What Justice Is’ and ‘Fate’, as well as bouncy ‘partycore’ numbers like ‘In The Moment’ and ‘Never Giving Up’, featuring guest vocals from Soilwork’s Bjorn Strid. The lyrics are surprisingly insightful for a bunch of young dudes: check out the ‘end of a relationship’ track ‘Moving On’ and the almost seven minute long epic album closer ‘The Puppets Of Heresy’… a damning title if ever there was one. There’s also the touching ode to one’s parents ‘Forever’, in which vocalist Michiel Brinkhuis ponders what life will be like once his folks are gone, and pays tribute to their advice and relationship with him; the lyrics are a tad clumsy here and there, but there’s no doubting their sincerity.

In all, ‘Justice Is’ is a pretty damn good album, and a great one if you’re a fan of modern metalcore. There’s enough blastbeats, breakdowns and clean/scream vocals combos to satisfy the most discerning of ‘core fans, but not so many that it’s all the band rely on; this is clearly a talented group of musicians who put a lot of care and thought into both their playing and their lyrics. The result is a well produced and concise album that ticks all the metalcore boxes, and is a thoroughly enjoyable listen to boot. Get them in the UK or the USA, supporting a band like Pierce The Veil or Sleeping With Sirens – also young, good looking, metalcorers – and they will undoubtedly blow up.

Review: Melanie Brehaut

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