Saturday, 14 May 2016

Belvedere: 'The Revenge Of The Fifth' Album Review

It’s been twelve years since Belvedere released an album and four years since they reformed. Usually to start a review in this way I would be setting the reader up for a disappointment but I cannot deny Belvedere are back with a vengeance.

The Album kicks off with tracks ‘Shipwreck’, ‘Hairline’ and ‘Years’ which take you straight to the half pipe to drop in at high speeds. The band bring back their classic staples, fast and technical punk rock tied up with anthemic vocals and well thought out riffs and solos.

The next three tracks ‘Transmissions’, ‘Delicastressin’ and album title track ‘Revenge of the Fifth’ is where the album starts to hit gold for me. ‘Transmissions’ is hard hitting and speedy with catchy chorus that is completely infectious. ‘Delicastressin’ is where the album slows down a touch, but still keeps the punk rock feel. The guitar really shines in this track featuring great riffs and piercing harmonics. ‘Revenge of the Fifth’ however is a track that changes tone altogether and breaks into a darker and sinister version of punk rock, only further emphasized by the instrumentation, including a Metal esque breakdown and solo which fits so perfectly.

‘Red Pawn’s Race’ is my favourite track on the album, it beautifully infuses all that is great about the band. Hard hitting solos with fast punk riffs paired with classic vocals reminiscent of bands such as Lagwagon, Bad Religion and Less Than Jake. At the beginning of the track there is also an amazing bass riff, which is nice to hear from any band as a lot of bassists get overshadowed in the mix. However Belvedere have that balance.

The next two tracks on the album are like polar opposites ‘Achilles’ is a slower punk rock track with fast drum beats with layered guitar riffs and chord progressions perfectly married with pop like chorus vocals. ‘The Architect’ however is hard hitting and back to fast pace skate punk heaven with technical catchy riffs that could rival any metal band. ‘The Architect’ is also the track that makes me want to dance the most on the album, so, I wouldn’t be surprised if this track is the rock DJ’s choice.

The last few tracks are hard hitting and packed with a punk rock punch to send you on your way home. ‘As above, So Below’ almost feels like the end of the album before the penultimate ‘Carpe Per Diem’ brings you back with the most punk rock riff on the whole album that could have easily slotted in a NOFX song. It’s a technically brilliant song with all the heart of a punk rock anthem. The last track ‘Generation Debt’ is one of the longest on the album at over four minutes, it is slow and heavy, almost bordering a metal track but it manages to retain a punk rock feel with the guitar work and drums. It also features some hardcore styled vocals which reminded me of ‘Sick Of It All’. My only issue with album is the fade out, it just seemed lazy to me, I think personally I would of switched ‘Generation Debt’ for ‘As Above, So Below’ to finish it all off instead.

The album is very well recorded, mastered and feels like a true return to form for Belvedere. The whole album makes you want to go out in the sun and skate but even under the surface it is a very good album. Full of technical skill and hearty lyricism. I think this is a must have album for any punk rock fan and every punk addict is guaranteed a blast. I hope to see them on a tour as soon as possible, hopefully with some of the notable punk bands they have previously toured with.

A solid 9/10 album, perfectly recorded and well put together. Skate Punk legends back to formula.

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