Moment of Reckoning

Zero Sum
rating icon 5 / 10

Track listing:

01. Surrender Never
02. Unbreakable
03. End of Man
04. A Glimpse of Hell
05. Deception
06. Tears Fall Endless
07. Breaking Away
08. We the Strong
09. Destined To Rise
10. Moment of Reckoning
11. Stand Your Ground
12. Our Time Has Come

One gets the feeling that Texas-born JACKNIFE were once a lot more basic and hardcore-oriented, perhaps cut from the same cloth as PISSING RAZORS or HATEBREED. Then they discovered the likes of SHADOWS FALL and heard some "new wave of American metal", and that influence (or perhaps the same Swedish bands that all those bands glommed on to) started leaching into their songwriting. About halfway through that transformation, they became the flagship artist on the new Zero Sum label, cranked out this pretty wicked record, and made an effort to step up on some national tours (out now, I think, with M.O.D. and CRISIS).

"Moment of Reckoning" is a heavy slab of simple pit-friendly goodness, and if it's a little forgettable, it's definitely at least satisfying throughout. There are lots of breakdowns, harsh vocals, and tons of speed picking and chunky concrete riffs. Toward the end the songs get less melodic, shorter and more stripped down, ever more basic and scowlingly thick-headed. Throughout, we're given the usual rise-above hardcore lyrical credo, as evidenced by the song titles above.

JACKNIFE are just one of those bands that falls into the vast abyss of "eh, they're okay" — nothing on "Moment of Reckoning" would make you turn off the stereo, but I can't picture anyone who didn't give birth to a band member being all that excited about its release. They clearly have the energy and aggression down – hopefully with more live work and a little more experience, they'll develop some individuality next.

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