First Blood "Rules"

For the band's first album in seven years it rips like a true blood diamond. This thing cuts so hard it's impossible to dismiss the band's blunt force trauma to the head! The concept of kicking off a list of "to-live-by's" is convincing and each track is a continuation of the prior's pummeling.
     After so much of this stuff has been pumped into the digital space, it's great to see what a true standout can truly achieve. We've covered so many hardcore bands that have practically done the same thing that to say anything is a standout above the rest is a bold statement. The production on Rules is super crisp. Each member knows exactly where to draw the line between principals and flare that it feels as if they hardly overextend themselves, knowing exactly how to unnecessarily bombard the record. "Rules of Conviction" brings it hard like an hxc skeleton, and "Rules of Freedom" rain down the alarm clock riffs that cut the room in half. The five minute epic "Rules of Government" hardly lingers and executes one of the longest tracks in hardcore history. 
     Rules is an important record that drops at a crucial time that brings back punk foundations essential to achieve glory in this space. First Blood are true champions of hardcore.

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