Album Review: Total Recall – Always Together

Album Review: Total Recall - Always Together
Reviewed by Dan Barnes

Although only formed a couple of years ago, Italians Total Recall have almost two decades of experience of touring in the metallic hardcore scene and it shows in every facet of Always Together. As the follow-up to last year’s Wooden Scars EP this debut full-length is a triumphant example of the devastating impact of a perfectly crafted musical battery.

If you’ve checked out lead single and accompanying video for Poison Flow, you’ll have a pretty good idea of where Total Recall are coming from. Yet, beware of the somewhat psychedelic musing of the opening and the more sedate pace, because those big, crashing riffs and angry vocals are no less devastating just because they’re out in public.

Album Review: Total Recall - Always Together

Sitting central to Always Together, Poison Flow can be seen to act as a bridge from the first four tracks of stalking, rough-edged guitar and incessant drums delivering massive walls of metal-infused hardcore, to the second half of the record, which sees Total Recall adopting a more experimental, though no less destructive aspect to their song-writing.

Those early tracks are exemplified by Thirst for Blood: a massive opening statement of intent with every strike of an instrument custom-made to inflict maximum damage; whereas Shrine of Pain double-bass drum kick and chugging guitar accompanies a vocal so enraged that I went on the hunt for a Snickers.

By the time you think you know what Total Recall is all about, they begin to introduce a few curveballs into the proceedings. The bridges in Never Again explode like fireworks and that guitar sound, so sharp and precise, takes on a looser and more esoteric feel, without sacrificing the brutality.

Although failing to break the half-hour mark, Always Together is a sonic wrecking ball that will leave you bloodied and beaten, yet utterly exhilarated. An uncompromising collection of chunky, metallic, machine-gunning riffs, groovy bass and the hardest of post-hardcore sensibilities. A fitting antidote to all those annoying smiley summer tunes.

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