"Hostile" (Self-released; 2006)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

Based on the cover art and the band's photos, I expected Iceland's Hostile to be one of those hardcore bands with aggressive lyrics, annoying vocals and brutal music you can knock down your enemy to. But I was surprised. The music on the band's self-titled debut does have a little in common with hardcore, but this is not a hardcore album.

"Hostile" has more in common with Killswitch Engage than it does with Madball. The music is, for the most part, fast and furious, at times almost reaching the point of thrash with tinges of hardcore. But vocalist Asgeir doesn't sound like a hardcore singer. Instead, his voice kind of sounds like Layne Staley if he were singing for a thrash band. It's an interesting combination.

The end result is a collection of very aggressive tunes (especially "Freaking Bones") that never get too harsh, as so many hardcore albums do. They're not melodic, either, but rather find that elusive balance that makes "Hostile" worth a listen. 

Hostile: Asgeir - Vocals; Jonni - Guitar; Armann - Bass; Vilhelm - Guitar; Elvar - Drums.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2009 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 02 Oct 2022 15:17:13 -0400.