Death Before Dishonor - Better Ways To Die

11 songs
24:22 minutes
***** ***
Bridge Nine


Ever since the seminal compilation This Is Boston, Not L.A. from 1982, it is a well known fact that Boston is the secret hardcore capital of the United States. Death Before Dishonor may not be that old that they were already active back then, but the quintet has been releasing busily records since the break of the new millennium, and when it took them longer between releases – the predecessor Count Me In came out in 2007 – they were actively touring all over the world.

The eleven songs on their new album Better Ways To Die don’t even make it to twenty-five minutes, and the opener Peace And Quiet couldn’t come with a more misleading title, considering that this one minute thrasher is a perfect entry point into an album that is fully old-school hardcore, performed by a band experienced enough to allow melody creeping into their material, which adds a strong sense of dynamics and gives the most parts even more weight.

Otherwise you get the usual stuff: lots of gang shouts, chugga-chugga rhythms, a strong nostalgic mood and yet Better Ways To Die never sounds derivative. Instead it comes across as a strong statement against the trendy contemporary cancerous growths of a genre that once used to have street credibility.

The excellent production helps of course to give every protagonist the necessary weight, and even though one might complain about the short running time, it should not be forgotten that early hardcore classics were hardly ever more than half an hour long. Death Before Dishonor are anything but fashionable, but their brutal hardcore should be paradise for every fan of Agnostic Front, Sick Of It All, Madball and the likes.

Back to Reviews