Gideon - Milestone (2012)

I'll admit that, in my time indulging in the wonder of "core" music, I've only ever been to a few hardcore shows. I've seen Legend, Stick To Your Guns, Stray From The Path, Harms Way, Terror, Hundredth, Betrayal, Counterparts and a few others here and there. And even though I'm a huge advocate of metalcore, deathcore, and progressive metal of a few different facets, hardcore has its own energy. Hardcore harnesses emotion in ways that other genres can't; It brings kids together and unites them, as if hardcore has its own brotherhood. It makes kids like us think about the people around us. Some bands teach them to hate those around them, and to be pissed off at the world. Others breed positivity, and try to bring the world together in the hopes of a brighter tomorrow.

Here, we have Gideon, a Christian hardcore outfit from Alabama. Going into this review, I have a soft spot for their previous release, Costs. That debut album on their label, Facedown Records, set the bar VERY high for their following releases. After hearing their first single, "Gutter", I was initially apprehensive of Milestone's release. The single was nothing too grand, pretty basic hardcore. Although it was nothing bad, it lacked the punch that Costs first dealt with its release. Then, they released their second single, "Prodigal Son". My turnaround of excitement for Milestone was miraculous, as that song came flying out of the gates like the bird panther hybrid pictured on their new album cover.

I'm glad they stayed true to their previous material, and capitalized off of it. The melody, and ferocity, from Costs is still there, maybe even a little more so. "Gutter" seems to fit very well as the opening track to the album, despite being lackluster as a single, as it ignites songs like "Bad Blood", "No Acceptance" and "Overthrow". Every song is deep, with lyrics like "I can only hope that one day everyone will see you for what you really are/So quick to judge everyone's actions, but so quick to forget your own", "They can try and stop us, but we will not back down/We will be the change", and "You've got it in you, I'm living proof". Every song has a story that serves to bring you from despair, and to stay strong. Some songs relate to God, others to family, and others to betrayal and deceit. It's obvious that vocalist Daniel McWhorter has seen a turbulent past, being the main writer of these lyrics.

Instrumentally, if you liked the melody and power of Costs, you'll love it in Milestone. The production is as crisp as Costs, and as it should, since they went to Brian Hood at 456 Recordings for both records. The guitars are crunchy, the drums feel massive, and everything is clear and powerful. Production is often a make or break for a record, and Gideon chose well in going back to their previous producer. Another good note on this album, is the guest appearances. Justice Tripp of Trapped Under Ice appears on "Maternity", and Matt Honeycutt of Kublai Khan appears on "Still Alive". Both guest vocalists fit very well into the songs, and add another level of intensity with their verses, making those two tracks true powerhouses. Being respected members of the hardcore community, I'm sure many will approve of the appearances. The title track, "Milestone", also comes as a decent surprise, being a very soothing, tasteful and emotional instrumental track, and serves as a good change of pace from the power of the rest of the record.

This is a very good outing by this band, being that it's only their sophomore album. Many bands are aware of the dreaded "sophomore slump", but from my point of view, there's no such thing with Milestone. This album hits hard, lyrically and musically. Fans of hardcore, and Facedown Records alike, should truly enjoy this album. I know I'll be spinning it for months to come. Especially in my times of trial and tribulation.

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By PaulOverVanity ~ Me Gusta Reviews