One Truth

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Hardcore punk never really disappeared; it just kind of settled down a bit and then went back underground. Settled down, that is, in terms of tempo -- while most hardcore bands still pull out the loud-fast-rules stuff once in a while, the genre is currently dominated by songs taken at a medium-fast tempo and propelled by big, well-sculpted power chords rather than scrappy, atonal fuzz guitar. Until they split up in 1998, Strife was the flagship band for the straight edge contingent, a hardcore subgenre known for its disciplined, hard sound and lyrics that espouse an abstemious lifestyle. One Truth suffers a bit from a lack of focus; songs like "To the Surface" and "Still Rise" plod along on secondhand heavy metal riffs that keep wanting to go somewhere and never do. The band shine the brightest when they pick up the pace and generate some energy -- "Arms of the Few" is highly effective, with its frenetic pace and shout-along phrasing. One Truth is a worthy effort, but Strife were to do much better on subsequent releases.

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