The current rebellious discontent around the world has a new soundtrack in the brutal and violent Better To Die On Your Feet Than Live On Your Knees from Californian anarchic grindcore metalers Liberteer. The album is a ferocious blast not only across the senses but at the world and its oppressive established hand. It also is a stirring call to arms, a battle cry for all to find their voice, venom, and unique heart to fight.
Liberteer is the individual project of just one man and his direct and incendiary drive to inform and inspire against the world and its puppeteer’s wrongs, Matthew Widener (Cretin, Citizen, and ex-Exhumed). The harsh and venomous sounds and the even more potent lyrics in some ways continue on from his previous work with Citizen, certainly his fight and attack against the deep wrongs and apathy that blankets the world continues with the same powerful muscle but as Widener recently stated “My thoughts on politics slowly changed over the past six years. In Citizen I had a sense of outrage about our government, but because it still supported the idea of state, it doesn’t make much sense to me now. I’ve come to embrace the ideas of anarchy. The old band name, Citizen, represents a system of exclusion and nationalism, things I can’t stand now, so I had to rename the band and change a lot of things. I think the good things about the music are still there—the thematic, major-key riffs, the d-beats and blasts—but the message is now pure.”
Released January 31st via Relapse Records the anarchic Better To Die On Your Feet Than Live On Your Knees is a relentless battering and arousal which rather than leave one a quivering wreck inspires and ignites passion within. It certainly is not an easy ride and at times as the crimson drips from the ear one staggers back under its weight of its grindcore/hardcore/punk/thrash might. The sounds are multi veined with enterprising elements though this is often veiled by the attack from the rebellion’s core and its deeply satisfying artillery of intrusive grindcore sounds.
The album opens with ‘The Falcon Cannot Hear The Falconer ‘ and its burning fuse which leads to a triumphant declaration of aural war, the track and subsequent album crushing and defusing senses with pummelling intrusive riffs, scything delicious guitars and an array of glorious insertions from mandolins, banjos and horns. The track is the meeting place for the fight ahead and the introduction to a blistering tumultuous album. The majority of the songs range between a single minute to two but all hit with an intensity that scars without destroying the attention and focus for what is ahead. The flow of the album, is fluid too, each track barely taking a gulp of breath before thrusting the next sonic excursion for the ear into the face and though often one loses track of which song one is lost in multiple plays soon makes each individual identity clear and recognisable.
Consisting of seventeen destructive tracks the consistency is impressively high. All the songs permeate and welcomingly manipulate for the deepest satisfaction though at times one wonders if it is just enjoyment or the trigger of hidden emotions the release inspires that eagerly welcomes its scarring intent. To be honest it is both as the album is an incredible release that if it works for you will stay a close friend for all time. As mentioned all tracks are extremely strong but some go that little further in connection and raucous pleasing. ‘Build No System’ is a manic maelstrom of thoughtfully melded sounds and confirms that for all the mayhem and destructive intent and sounds scorching the senses they are all carefully structured and put together. ‘Rise Like Lions After Slumber’ with its glorious mandolin over an abusive wall of sound, ‘Better To Die On Your Feet Than Live On Your Knees’ with a delicious grumpy bass sound, the staggeringly brilliant ‘Usurious Epitaph‘with its inspiring grooved march into the bile soaked call to arms of ‘Revolution’s Wick Burning Quick’, plus the symphonic laced ‘Sweat For Blood’, all excite with something extra.
Better To Die On Your Feet Than Live On Your Knees is a rapid fire rampaging anarchic statement politically and musically, a release that deserves and will get massive acclaim and attention. Liberteer has spoken are you listening?