CD REVIEW Do Or Die

Band : Do Or Die
Album title : The Downfall Of The Human Race
Label : Demons Run Amok
Distributor : Code 7 (also PHD – Soulfood - Goodlife)
Release date : 19/11/2011 (Germany; Rest of Europe= Jan. 2012?)
Release : CD

Oh my, having been founded back in 1999, Mons based Belgian act Do Or Die (which you'll do well not to confuse with the notorious Rap trio from Chicago, the G-Rap band from San Francisco's Bay Area, or the North Shore, Auckland based Christian Pop Punk troupe from New Zealand) sure can claim to have some history in the Belgian Hardcore scene...and the fact is, the history book of Belgian Hardcore has quite some entries about the band!

In fact, singer Chris Michez is the only remaining original member. The band first issued their debut 7-inch EP Tears Of Rage through their first record label I Scream Records(its 500 copies selling in under a month's time), before throwing themselves on the live circuit in both Belgium and France. In fact, the stage has been the most important thing in this band's career, and although the band has played high profile support gigs to the likes of Agnostic Front, Biohazard, Hatebreed and Pro-Pain (to name but the most resounding bands), the guys have always put as much effort and sweat in each of their shows, no matter whether that might've been in a dinky-toy club of some out-of-place Italian village in front of only 100 fans, or in front of thousands playing at some of the bigger European festivals. The band released its debut full-length album Heart Full Of Pain in 2001 and, following more shows and tours, issued their sophomore album The Meaning Of Honor in early 2002. Again, touring, festivals, and independent shows followed (according to one of my info sources - I've found no confirmation, however - I Scream also released the Do Or Die album Trinacria in 2003), and again the band threw itself upon the live circuit...but eventually the strain of the constant gigging made half of the band decide to quit due to conflicts with their personal lives.

2004 saw the band (with new line-up) return with blast, playing 3 festivals (Pressure Fest, Graspop and Fury Fest) in one and the same weekend. Around that same time the band recorded the album Tradition, which was released in 2005 through Alveran Records, and marked the band's cooperation start with M.A.D. Tourbooking. Both being German companies, a completely new field was made available for the band, and the fanbase grew more and more. One of the guitarists then quit, but the rest of the band shouldered on, and continued to promote Tradition as a foursome, playing shows in Germany, Holland, Poland, Sweden, answering to invitations from such infamous festivals as Dour Fest, Pressure Fest, With Full Force, and even putting in an appearance at New York's Superbowl Of Hardcore. All the while, the band had also been writing new songs, which they eventually recorded for the May 2008 released Alveran album Pray For Them. In 2009, that album was re-released on 12-inch vinyl through Independenza Records.

3 ½ years after their last album, the band again returns with a new line-up, now comprising the combined hateful vocals of Chris and Stéphane Frocheur, the double guitar attack of Greg Chiarenza (lead guitar) and Arnold Cornu, and the powerful rhythm foundation of bassist Pierre Colmant and drummer Ruddy Collyns. The new album, in their own admission, is well more Metal than their previous albums, including solos and fast parts...but let that not make you think that Do Or Die jumped onto the MetalCore bandwagon! Nah, this is Metallic Hardcore indeed, but still Hardcore foremost, and weirdly enough that feeling is enhanced by the double lead vocals! In fact, it's only when the vocals are taken out of the equation in favour of instrumental interlude “Phoenix”, that the Metal influences actually come forward a little more. Weirdly enough, I have found no songs off the new album on either the band's facebook, MySpace or Last.fm pages, and it is therefore fortunate that the band's new label has a MySpace page, where you can find 2 of the 13 tracks off the new album posted (“True Blood” containing a couple of short vocal inserts by children). For more audio off the new album, you'll have to make due with the 30-second samples usually provided by the trustworthy online sales sites.

88/100

Tony.