Artist: Liar’s Tongue
Album: Threat of Intellect
There’s an old saying: a mind is a terrible thing to waste. In an era defined by brawn, brass and sharpened steel, it’s easy to overlook what might be mankind’s greatest and most lethal asset: intelligence. It’s our intrinsic lust for knowledge and growth that forced us to grow our armies, make our blades sharper and guns bigger—to send rank after rank of men and women into foreign lands to expand our dominion. So—while we’ve been conditioned to fear death by gunshot, stab wound, chemical and bomb blast, we’ve forgotten the very thing that drove us to create all those things: our minds.
Or, I suppose I should say most of us have forgotten—as the full-length record by Liar’s Tongue, titled Threat of Intellect, would indicate this Salt Lake City metallic hardcore quartet are still very much aware of it. Combining razor-sharp riffs, loads of thrashing, driving energy and bone-busting heaviness explosive enough to eradicate entire civilizations, the band have formed a crossover style equally appealing to metalheads and mosh warriors alike—making Threat of Intellect a diverse, devastating and driving album to get violent to.
Instrumentally, Liar’s Tongue take a tried-and-true style of hardcore infused with metallic leads and thrash-laden, driving drumming and kick it up a notch with crushing production and enough energy to provide power for the entire state of Texas. It all starts with the percussion from Nick Ledbetter—who might not take home awards for technicality or over-the-top writing, but will certainly win over the heads and fists of heavy music enthusiasts with his thick, meaty kick drum and sharp snare, constantly fighting each other for dominion over Liar’s Tongue’s ferocious foundation. Songs like “Reveal the Truth,” even as a brief introduction, see Ledbetter’s archetype already well underway, using relatively straightforward patterns to serve as a scaffold for the bass work from the aptly ascribed pseudonym (or maybe it isn’t) for bassist Dirty Mike. Together, the duo are fluid and fantastic together; this is as true as the segue into “Eclipse of Justice” as it is of the album’s lead single, “Conquer and Control.” The duo work brilliantly together, with Mike’s gritty and thick bass looming and rumbling along Ledbetter’s languishing drumming, during all the hard-hitting breakdowns, ruthless riffs and two-steps that Threat of Intellect has to offer. However, even at their most intense, the duo remain an integral role for guitarist Tyler Statler to shine. Statler takes a foundation of heavy hardcore and infuse 750 ccs of straight riff right into its jugular, sending it right to the band’s heart—and the listener’s head. Every song Threat of Intellect has to offer is a rambunctious ride on a thrashy, metallic train that Statler works diligently to conduct. While some songs–“Mindless Majority” and “Plea for Atonement”–are much more mosh-oriented for their lion’s share, they still find themselves laced with quick and killer solos that remind the listener Liar’s Tongue are more than just another young band riding the growing wave of bands adding divebombs and power chords to their songs and claiming the moniker “hardcore.”
Liar’s Tongue continue their abrasive, thrash-laden heavy hardcore dominion over the listener with their insane, warped vocal element—and while their name might be Liar’s Tongue, the group’s lyrics and gruff, raw vocals are nothing but real. Frontman Brian Miya—assisted by bassist Mike—is the source of Threat of Intellect‘s intense and abrasive vocals, and he serves up cut after cut of unfiltered fury like a butcher with bloodlust. Songs like “Eclipse of Justice,” and the aforementioned “Conquer and Control” are two excellent examples of Miya’s malicious mastery over his harsh, belted yell that drops into gritty, dark growls and sharp, mid-range yells. While Miya might not reinvent the wheel when it comes to thrash-infused, crossover vocal styles, he certainly serves as a stellar complement to Liar’s Tongue’s riff-driven, energetic and scathing dynamic. Where the band is quick, groovy and fluid, Miya is as well—placing his patterns in perfect cadence with the dancy nature of the music that serves as his canvas. However, where the band drop the subtlety and go for the throat, one can expect line after line of lurid vocal evisceration to follow suit.
Threat of Intellect is sharp, sinister, smart and short-but-sweet—the ideal amalgam for metallic hardcore. As mentioned before—while the band don’t necessarily blow the listener’s mind with out-of-the-box structure, writing, technicality or brutality, they balance metallic and murderous, hardcore-driven mentalities near-perfectly, leaving nothing to be desired when it comes to delivering devastation as precisely as a trained sniper, but with the cataclysmic effect of a nuclear bomb. The band work as a finely tuned machine, dealing out ferocious riffs, groovy two-steps and gut-shredding breakdowns in a ruthless recipe that’s bound to rot the listener’s gut faster than Helicobacter pylori. As fatal as five shots to the chest, and more intense than the end of days, Threat of Intellect is a release that fans of all things crossover and heavy will adore.
For Fans Of: Left Behind, Cro-Mags, Hatebreed, Torture
By: Connor Welsh