» Blog Archive Review: Wisdom In Chains Stay True On 7th LP -
Evan Conway Hard Music, News, Reviews, Streaming

Sheesh, are we already seven albums deep into Wisdom In Chains’ discography? So long as I’ve enjoyed hardcore punk, the Pennsylvania band has been a steady and reliable force in the genre for putting out a constant stream of tried and true hardcore, epitomizing it for the modern landscape. Nothing In Nature Respects Weakness keeps the band going into 2018, following up 2015’s The God Rhythm, and while bands typically fall into a groove of comfort by this point, Wisdom In Chains are still playing in the full spectrum of their respective genre instead of pigeon-holing themselves into a corner. Refreshing? Enjoyable? You bet.

While I believe newcomers would be more than fine starting anywhere on within the band’s discography, Nothing In Nature is an easy jumping on point for anyone who has slept on the band thus far. At 13 tracks, the band make it clear what Wisdom In Chains is about in their first four tracks, with the remaining 9 tracks building off every reach in sound. Hardcore bands can easily get away with four chords and consistent 200 bpm with poor recording quality, but it’s as if (Rather unsurprisingly) Wisdom In Chains know that the genre is capable of more than that.

This is immediately apparent with each new track, seeing the band doing their damnedest to make each one stick out and have something unique pertaining to each song. Early on, the shift to a major key stands out for the entirety of “Better Than I Was,” breaking free of the fast and frantic nature of the opening three songs, whereas the bass intro and punishing breakdown during “The Boy and the Cave” are more than enough to make them notable, but it’s even later on the album with the midtempo groove featured in the first minute of “Truce” that keeps the album being about enjoying the song rather than how fast or heavy it can get on a moment’s notice. Those moments are there, and they do pay off for the band, but it’s becuase they’re used sparingly or traded out for guitar solos instead do they retain their impact when they happen. Plainly put, there isn’t a formula to a Wisdom In Chains song that they’re regurgitating or 40 minutes.

Perhaps my favorite aspect of Nothing In Nature is how it doubles as being written for effective listening and destined for a room of people storming the stage. “Slow Drown” immediately stands out on the tracklisting as being something where gang shouts aren’t as prominent as they are elsewhere on the album, but you can just tell that Wisdom In Chains are still going to have people wrestling for the mic at This Is Hardcore this year. It’s inevitable, but ultimately satisfying to know just how well songs and moments like this are going to go down.

For all the diversity and fun to be had with this Wisdom In Chains release, the album stumbles as it comes to a close. “Halfway There” sends the album out with something close to a ballad, complete with guest vocals that transform the piece into a duet. By no means is the song bad, yet it doesn’t feel like the note that the album should be going out on. Perhaps, much like Bad Religion did with “Infected” on Stranger Than Fiction, putting it higher up in the tracklisting would have been a more effective route to getting this song across.

But, then again, I didn’t write the album. Just my thoughts.

All in all, Nothing In Nature Respects Weakness is another consistent and digestible album from a hard working band. Wisdom In Chains have never made it easier to attract new listeners, and this new album surely is a great jumping on point for new fans. Longtime fans will undoubtedly stay devoted to the band, seeing as with this seventh album, the band hasn’t steered them wrong yet.

Nothing In Nature is available on July 20th via Fast Break Rec. & Demons Run Amok. You can pre-order it right here and stream “Better Than I Was.”

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