Infiltrate the System

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Madball's first new album in seven years, Infiltrate the System poses many interesting questions about both the heritage and present state of hardcore -- merely by its very existence. After all, many purists would likely prefer that these NYHC veterans leave well enough alone, and sit home retired, content to let their original landmark albums perpetuate their legend, rather than endanger their reputation with new ones. Well, purists of such opinion have clearly forgotten their hardcore ethics, which, among many other things, state that action always speaks louder than words. And so here come Freddy Cricien and his crew, proving, much to everyone's relief, that Madball still represent classic hardcore at its best, with a set of 13 new songs as memorable as they are timeless. What's more, confrontational tracks like "We the People," "Revolt," "Takeover," and "Stand Up NY" sound and feel absolutely effortless in their execution, making it pretty much impossible (or at least pointless) to separate them from Madball's past triumphs. And how ironic is it that Infiltrate the System was produced by the ubiquitous Zeuss, whose career résumé has largely entailed helping younger bands replicate the Madball sound. Needless to say, his expertise in this discipline doesn't let the side down here, and even though it doesn't break significant new ground for either Madball or the hardcore genre, in general, Infiltrate the System ultimately succeeds because it doesn't disappoint when compared to the band's hefty legacy. Phew, what a relief!

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