[Forged In Iron/Halo of Flies Records]
03. I Am Not A Living Grave
06. Realities Of The Dairy Industry
07. Punk Rock Is Saving Lives
08. Conscientious Objector
It comes as no surprise when a hardcore and/or punk-rock band delve into political territory, especially when so much of the early scene was based around a movement expressing a disdain for politics and the like. Even to this day, much hasn’t changed within the scene – bands continue to express themselves musically with strong views and emotions that convey a message – in hopes of opening eyes and minds to the troubles of the world. Momentum, a side-project featuring members of Plague Mass, Light Bearer and XZieglerX – who play heavy, epic and melodically driven DIY hardcore-punk, which is both crushing and uplifting – showcase not only their passion for playing fast, politically-charged music, but deliver a strong message that hits just as hard as the music.
Unlike their previous album Whetting Occam’s Razor (highly recommended) – in which they were influenced by the words of Carl Sagan and other luminary thinkers – on Herbivore, the band’s second and final album, they shift their focus on animal rights, veganism, and the tragedies of the meat and dairy industry, which is beautifully orchestrated throughout eight tracks of pissed off and melodic hardcore.
Like any trademark staple of a hardcore/punk album, Herbivore blasts through each track with relentless pace, offering no breaks or breathers, and as the album title gently hints at, Herbivore’s general theme is that of veganism, and animal rights. With each member sharing a strong belief in these areas, they present their ideals without restraint, and the overall approach of the album – the sound, lyrics and presentation – is aggressive. Even though the album clocks in a bit over the half-hour mark, it’s only for the mere fact that the final track, “Conscientious Objector“, offers a hidden cover of The Smith’s ”Meat is Murder” (very fitting), but is soon followed by an audio clip of an amazing speech given by Phillip Wollen on animal rights. This clip, which takes up the last ten minutes of the track, conveys Herbivore’s message in such a moving and powerful way.
Herbivore is a much more raw and abrasive approach in sound, tone, and theme from their previous record. Don’t be dissuaded though; this is still the same band that released that grandiose fifty two-minute long melodic hardcore album that was steeped in a dark, grimy mold. Although the message is different – and one that could be off-putting to certain people – the band is very passionate about their beliefs, and to ignore an album or band because of that goes against the very foundation of what makes music, well… music. So whether or not you agree on the topic of choice, above all else the music offers plenty of memorable breakdowns, riffs, and gang shouts, that will surely keep you coming back for repeat listens.
While the band has stated this is their final album – their swansong – under the moniker of Momentum, fingers crossed that sometime in the foreseeable future they will decide to reunite and release another album, because such passion and artistry in music shouldn’t be hidden from the world. For now, Herbivore is available as a digital release which is free to download via Mediafire. Plans for a physical release are scheduled for a February/March date, but nothing has been confirmed, so keep your eyes peeled for that if the music strikes your fancy. The music is free and the message is strong. Can’t go wrong with that.