New York's hardcore scene has managed to gain some nuance over the years without sacrificing much in the way of bitterness and intensity. On the Rise, a new band that includes former members of Agnostic Front and Maximum Penalty, ably demonstrates the scene's continued vitality on its impressive full-length debut, an album that manages to incorporate both guitar solos and actual singing into its sonic assault without sounding in the least like a compromise with the pop-punk marketplace. That's not to say that there are any melodies. But there are, interestingly enough, harmonies -- like on the chorus to "So Slowly Fade," during which Lenny di Sclafani yells hoarsely while his bandmates harmonize sweetly behind him over a grinding, thrashing, dual-guitar foundation. "Turncoat" will sound familiar to fans of early Hüsker Dü, though again all the melodic interest is in what's happening behind the tuneless vocals. Put these elements together with lyrics that aren't embarrassing at all and you've got a winning combination. Recommended.
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AllMusic Review by Rick Anderson