Sacramento, California based band, The Hoods, have been making waves in the metal-based hardcore scene for six years now, and it appears that all the hard work has finally paid off for them in the form of their first full-length release on Victory Records. It seems that any band that has gained any sort of ground in this genre inevitably winds up on the Victory roster, as they have basically built their name by bringing these sorts of bands more publicity and attention. This, of course, makes it harder for a band on the label to stand out among their label mates, and in the process, allows critics to simply dismiss any new acts on Victory as just more of the same.
That being said, Time . . . The Destroyer is a pretty brutal record with all the mandatory muted E chords, metal leads, and double bass thumping you’d expect from a band working in the genre. It certainly doesn’t cover any new ground or add any inspiration to the formula that bands like Integrity and Earth Crisis have already molded into stone. It’s hard to listen to Time . . . The Destroyer without instantly recognizing that all of this has been done before, that perhaps, this record is just another sample of the usual Victory sound.
The guitars are thick, chunky, and driving, and Ben Garcia’s vocal work certainly brings to mind images of shredded vocal chords. But, if anything, the slick, heavy production of Time . . . The Destroyer tends to drown the band out in their own fury. I can’t help but think that this album would benefit greatly from a slightly grittier, bare bones recording. Sure, it’s heavy, but it lacks the manic, frenzied energy that could really make this record something different.
Likewise, it would be nice if The Hoods explored some new territory lyrically. The vague glimpses at depression and anger provided on this record are nothing that hasn’t been said more eloquently a thousand times before. I was about to give Time . . . The Destroyer credit for avoiding the standard “stabbed in the back” song when “Citrus Heights” appeared before me. Yeah, they worked that cliché too. With song titles like “Endless Pain”, “Another Lesson”, and “Unforgiven”, it’s pretty obvious that The Hoods are playing by all the rules already established in the genre they work in.
I imagine true fanatics of metal-based hardcore will find something to love about this disc. But, without a shred of originality, I can’t help but feel that Time . . . The Destroyer just destroyed a good chunk of my valuable time.