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Built for Battle, “Lion,” from Killing the Dream (Brutality, 2017)

Albany, NY's Built for Battle landed on my radar last week when a well-informed reader tipped me off that the ex-vocalist of 357 Justice had done a stint with the band, so of course I had to do some digging!

The group formed back in 2011, and at the time featured Todd Farrell from 357 Justice alongside former members of two bands that I'm not familiar with: Dying ta Live and Put to Rest. That incarnation released a split CD with All for Revenge in 2013 (most of the songs from which have been re-recorded herein), but they recently replaced three-fifths of the lineup for their debut full-length, Killing the Dream. In addition to bringing in former Brick by Brick vocalist Rich Roberts, most exciting to me is the inclusion of guitarist Joe Bockis from Deadeffect—a band that I've gushed about several times in the past, and whose lone demo I still worship to this day. Thus, enthusiasm: doubled!

Expect burly, hard-hitting metalcore that pretty much sounds like the perfect amalgamation of bands like 100 Demons meets All Out War, apocalyptic-tinged lyrics and all. As with many such outfits, Built for Battle isn't really rewriting the book on this niche of the genre, but—as usual—that's totally fuckin' fine by me. The members' long-standing résumés definitely keep this material sounding more in line with what I want to hear in terms of production and songwriting quality than many of their younger contemporaries, so it would seem that upstate New York is still a hotbed for pummeling, lead-fisted hardcore. Awesome.

Pick up Killing the Dream digitally or on CD through Bandcamp or the band's webstore. I'm a stream-hating old man, but it's on Spotify, too, if that's your preference...