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Strife: Witness A Rebirth

Californian hardcore heroes return in bruising style

It’s less than 12 seconds before the unmistakable sound of a future pit erupting into mayhem spills from Strife’s first album in 11 years. The straining-at-the-bit drama of Torn Apart is carried wildly along on an aerial attack of drum pyrotechnics courtesy of one Iggor Cavalera, master of relentless rhythms with Sepultura and aggressively magnificent here.

Strife are comfortable enough in their own skins to ignore the trends that have risen and fallen in their absence, the eye-poppingly intense hardcore of the 90s rising again in a barrage of brutal, pugilistic riffs, with shards of pure metal and ferocious vocals from frontman Rick Rodney.

There’s an honest urgency to Witness A Rebirth that drags you along in its relentless wake. Strife are reborn, and they’re coming back into the world kicking and screaming.