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JFH Music Review

We The Gathered, Believer

We The Gathered

Album length: 10 tracks: 37 minutes, 34 seconds
Street Date: October 25, 2011

We The Gathered is a hardcore band that has been around for about a year or so, hailing from Johnstown, PA (a little college town of 20,000 people). The young band is trying to gain their spot in the hardcore music scene while blending a hint of melody into the heaviness. Believer is their debut album and is being released courtesy of Strike First Records. But the question must be asked: Will they be distinct enough to make listeners find them amid the countless number of metal bands trying to make it these days?

The title track opens the album and the initial impression is definitely heavy, heavy, heavy. Straight up, we hear slowly delivered growls laid over some rather good hardcore drumming and a melody of guitar and bass. The next song, "Savior," displays that exact same musical touch, producing another solid song with cries of praise and gratefulness for the Savior. The sound of the melody woven through is welcome and a nice change from the everyday metal scene. The following tracks show off that same sound while the screams lead people to "live differently" from the world and to have "no more compromise" in their lives.

After a quick, soft interlude near the midway point of the album, the heaviness begins again with "Surrounded," a track with an anthem/chant feel. "Antihero" and "Vision" both deliver decent sounds; nothing overly spectacular, but they're not really fillers either. The only real change musically (besides the aforementioned interlude) comes from "Undefined" and "Era Revive." The sudden start and stop pace in both songs have a sweet ultra-fast and slow flow to it, bringing a needed difference in the middle of all the metal. The chants of "I will not fall" will keep the fists raised and the heads banging.

Overall, this is a solid release with a decent collection of the hardcore sound blended with melodic guitar riffs. At times, it carries the feel of being sloppy and needing some final touch-up work, but for a freshman release, that's kind of expected, and the final product is pretty good. The lyrical content is right on track with what people need today and the album art is kind of cool too. If you enjoy the heavy scene or want something the tiniest bit different than your everyday run-of-the-mill hardcore, then Believer may be just what you're looking for.

- Review date: 11/1/11, written by Kevin Hoskins of

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JFH Staff's Second Opinion

Nowadays, when I pick up an album and see it bears the Facedown/Strike First stamp, I often make (usually correct) assumptions about what I'm in store for: drop-B-chugging, bass-dropping, sludgy-breakdown-overusing mid-paced hardcore that's been done before by so many bands it's hard to tell who's ripping off who anymore. But having given PA's We The Gathered's debut Believer a spin, I was pleasantly surprised to find a band attempting to buck that trend by adding some melodic flavor to the mix, calling to mind bands like Strongarm who became pioneers in their genre by doing the same. Now, don't get me wrong; formulaically, Believer is still "Facedown-core," at times reminding one of Hands as far as the pace goes while churning out the sparse breakdowns we've come to expect from In The Midst Of Lions. However, while "melodic" to some may mean a For Today-like sudden eruption into a worship chorus, Believer wisely opts to express its melodic side by varying the standard chugging, creating (gasp!) melodic breakdowns and writing beautiful riffs that answer the question of what it would sound like if Further Seems Forever and Zao started a side project together. Granted, there are moments on this album, especially on tracks like "Vision," where Believer begins to lapse into bland open-string chugging, but thankfully those moments are relatively rare. As for the vocal work, while typical (Lance Augustine's growls kind of remind me of Hands' Shane Ochsner), there is a passion behind it that I can't really describe; it gives me chills to hear it, and it fits well with the band's overall sound. The production is up to par and honest; overproduction can sometimes lead to a dramatic, cheesy undertone in the music, but Believer thankfully avoids that. Overall, this record is a strong start for We The Gathered; hopefully, the innovation, originality, and character here can not only progress with successive albums, but can inspire other bands to add their own original flavor to an increasingly watered-down genre. - Steven Powless, 11/2/11


. Record Label: Strike First Records
. Album length: 10 tracks: 37 minutes, 34 seconds
. Street Date: October 25, 2011
. Buy It: iTunes
. Buy It: AmazonMP3
. Buy It:

  1. Believer (3:08)
  2. Savior (4:24)
  3. Idolizer (4:35)
  4. Seeker (3:16)
  5. Tragedy (1:34)
  6. Surrounded (4:07)
  7. Antihero (3:33)
  8. Undefined (3:53)
  9. Vision (3:06)
  10. Era Revive (6:02)
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