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01. Insult To Injury
02. Day Of Defeat
03. My First Day
04. Chasing The Wind
07. Strength To Remain
08. Abolition Of Man
09. Silence The Ignorance
10. Subverting The Innocent
11. Holding On By A Thread
"Day of Defeat" marks the third full-length for the California unit Point of Recognition, via the up-and-coming Facedown Records. For those unfamiliar with the group, Point of Recognition is comparable to bands such as Hatebreed, Throwdown, and Another Victim, as the group churns out metallic hardcore with some old-school sensibility thrown in.
The album opens up with "Insult to Injury," a fast-tempo song with some nice breakdowns and mosh to mix things up. There is even a "blah/hah!" yell stuck in there that's reminiscent of Jamey Jasta and Hatebreed. In fact, these yells can be found in several tracks. Point of Recognition pushes the pace with "Day of Defeat." Backup crew yells support the vocals, while more breakdowns and double-kick are thrown in. "My First Day" returns to a tempo similar to that of track one, and features verses being traded between the primary vocalist and probably the guitarist or bassist of the band. "Chasing The Wind" starts with a mid-paced feel, but rapidly does a 180-degree turn and speeds up. Quick palm-muted riffing leads into very moshy segments. The song eventually closes with the same opening riff. The fifth track, "Injustice," opens with more quick riffing, but then pounds the rest the way through with offbeat riffs and mosh. Hammering drums and open guitar strums lead into "Bust," the unit's only instrumental on the record. It's actually more of a prologue for "Strength To Remain," a driving song that's relentless in its approach. The mystery second vocalist makes an appearance here to add some variety.
A thick bass line kicks off "Abolition Of Man," the eight song of the LP, which offers a mix of driving metallic hardcore, double bass, and breakdowns. "Silence The Ignorance" brings back more of the quick, urgent pace. This particular track really reminds me of Hatebreed's "Burn The Lies." It's the fact that each song's arrangement is pretty comparable (driving hardcore leading into big mosh) and the word "ignorance" being tossed around in both songs. "Subverting The Innocent" carries on the speed of "Silence The Ignorance." Finally, "Holding On By A Thread," which showed up on an earlier Facedown Sampler (not the 22 Ton Sampler one), is the final cut of the album. The mystery vocalist shows up again as he trades lines with the lead singer. This track is probably the catchiest song of the entire record, as it mixes all the aforementioned elements and has plenty of breakdowns to set the kids off in the pit.
"Day of Defeat" is definitely a step up from "Refresh Renew," as the overall recording and production is very clean and just right. The mix also works very well, as the all members are represented equally, including the bassist. You can hear the bass lines come through, which is very appropriate for their style of hardcore. It's nice to see that's it isn't drowned out by every other instrument of the band, which seems to be an issue in many hardcore records. The vocals are of the burly, gruff sort, and complement the music well.
The layout of the record is interesting. The CD comes in a slip-case with the album's cover artwork done by Dave Quiggle, most notably of xDisciplex A.D. It's an illustration of a front-line battle between heaven and hell, with angels (armed with automatics and spears) and demons fight each other, respectively. It's suitable, considering the lyrics could be interpreted as dealing with the struggles of life from both a worldly and spiritual point of view. Further, the band members are Christians, and are on a label that features many spirit-filled hardcore bands.
As for the negatives, the major one would be a stylistic issue with Point of Recognition. There are plenty of bands out there with this style of hardcore. Hatebreed easily comes to mind, as well as others mentioned before, and probably plenty more elsewhere. My other gripe, which is more of a suggestion, is for the band to get a second guitarist so that PoR can mix things up musically, rather than doing the typical driving hardcore, mosh, and breakdown combination. Finally, it would've been nice to acknowledge the second vocalist who contributed to some of the song verses.
Bottom Line: This is a solid effort from Point of Recognition. Although it may not be the most innovative music out there, it's presented well by the unit with good musicianship, catchy songs, and a clean recording. And while the band may be Christian, the lyrics are relatable to all potential listeners, so don't let that be a hindrance if you're considering picking up this disc. There is no preaching of any sort on this record. This is definitely an album worth checking out if you have the chance.