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Madball: Hardcore Lives (2014)

Written by: Kev Rowland

‘Hardcore Lives’ was released on June 27th 2014, and was the first album from Madball in four years. Tracked and engineered by famed Unearth guitarist Ken Susi and mixed & mastered by long-time collaborator Zeuss (Hatebreed, Agnostic Front, Soulfly, Terror, Whitechapel…). The band that started life as an Agnostic Front side-project, with Roger Miret’s young half-brother on vocals, has become totally synonymous with hardcore, the two are interchangeable with the difference being that although there are many bands who can call themselves hardcore, there truly can only ever be one Madball. They truly understand that there needs to be far more than just shouted vocals and punk aggression, and they cram their songs and albums with hooks as well as passion.

Singer Freddy Cricien, explains the album title as follows: “I shouted “Hardcore Lives” on Madball’s first release, ‘Ball Of Destruction’ – I was twelve then. It wasn’t pre-planned or written down… it was an ad-lib that I just threw out there and we kept it! Back then there was no choice really, not the way we were recording – two track live at Don Fury’s… NYHC style! I feel the sentiment behind the expression still holds true today, maybe even more so. Hence the reason we finally chose to use it as a title. Sure, it’s about waving the flag for our genre/culture, etc. – I’ve always felt that “we as a scene” had to scream just a lil louder… to be heard! That said, “Hardcore Lives” at least to us, is not just about a cool “catchphrase” – it’s about that rebellious spirit that doesn’t give in… In life, music, whatever. It’s about growing, evolving, and maintaining your integrity in the process. It’s about family, overcoming adversity, and respect. All the things that matter inside and outside of the music realm. It’s for everyone and anyone with an open mind and heart.“

I don’t think Madball know how to release a poor album, and more than 25 years on from the early days and a twelve-year-old singer, they still know exactly what they need to do to satisfy both themselves and their fans. More metal than what many would consider to be “pure hardcore”, this is great.

Rating: 8/10

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Track list:
1 – Intro
2 – Hardcore Lives
3 – The Balance
4 – Doc Marten Stomp
5 – DNA
6 – True School
7 – The Here And Now
8 – Nothing To Me
9 – My Armor
10 – Beacon Of Light
11 – Born Strong
12 – Spirit
13 – Mi Palabra
14 – NBNC
15 – For The Judged

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Links:
http://madballhc.com/
https://www.nuclearblast.de/en/

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