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ALARM FOR WAR Enemies Of The State

By Andrew Depedro, Ottawa Corespondent
Tuesday, November 21, 2017 @ 5:57 AM


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ALARM FOR WAR
Enemies Of The State

Novanglus Records Inc




It’s not always that a new band comes along whose frontman is barely of legal drinking age and ends up being the highlight of the entire lineup. But, yet, that’s exactly how my perception of rap-metal newcomers ALARM FOR WAR came about for me following a couple of listens of their debut EP Enemies Of The State. Fronted by 13-year old rapper/vocalist Buggy and rounded out by guitarist KISA, bassist Fletcher, and drummer Smitty, ALARM FOR WAR have been active in the touring circuit for a good year or so, with the Minneapolis-based band gigging on their own tours in and around their base before landing on one of their most ambitious tours, recently supporting POWERMAN 5000 on some shows in the Midwest earlier this month. They’ve won quite a lot of accolades for their performances, compared by some as being like “RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE on steroids meets Layne Staley-era ALICE IN CHAINS” in parts. Particularly, equal praise has been given to Buggy’s quick riff rap style, which is admittedly precise and blunt. Even his lyrics are thankfully devoid of the hackneyed and too-common topics of mainstream hip-hop, focusing more on one’s inner self and how to bring about positive change in one’s life. And, most definitely, about God and the life choices one makes. The band’s first breakout song titled “Day Turned Into Night”, nestled in the center of the six-song EP and clocking in at over six minutes, tells the story about a despondent kid named Zach whose drug habit ultimately costs him his life. Its moral is summarized as to not blame God for being absent over our life choices but rather be forewarned about the dangers that He had predicted in life. At least the video didn’t feature an apple and a snake.

That said, even nu-millennium Christian rap-metallers P.O.D. never namedropped God, Jesus and religion in general on their debut album as often as ALARM FOR WAR have on Enemies Of The State. It’s a common theme that runs throughout the EP and at one point, it’s almost becoming a distraction from anything else that the band have to offer. “Justified”, “No Compromise” and “Sooner Or Later” in particular are the guiltiest of this offence, its message already clear halfway through the song before they start becoming more and more like pushy Jehovah’s Witnesses trying to aggressively convert the listener after they’ve made the sales pitch. Granted, most of the songs are between 2 and a half to three minutes in length so there’s not enough of a time frame to expand on their message (and, lest we forget, the members of ALARM FOR WAR with the exception of Buggy do have a background in Minneapolis’ hardcore scene so they’re used to playing fast anyway). But still, there’s something to be said for being subtle about gabbin’ about God in rock ‘n roll. U2 and ARMORED SAINT have long mastered that art since the beginning of their careers to the point that you would never even guess about their religious overtones by now. Even STRYPER picked up on that hint almost three decades ago when they did away with the whole Bible toss into the audience routine, jammed some EARTH, WIND & FIRE covers and started creating albums on par with their 80’s material. In comparison, Enemies Of The State comes off mostly like Reverend Lovejoy suddenly discovering that “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” was never a church hymn, and appears to preach to the converted. Luckily, as a young band, ALARM FOR WAR have time to change their approach from here on in.

2.5 Out Of 5.0

https://www.alarmforwar.com/
https://www.facebook.com/AlarmForWar


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