How often do you pay attention to the lyrics as much as the rest of the music in any album? Most of the time, even good lyrics are buried in the mix as an afterthought to focus on the texture and the overall feeling. Granted, good singer and lyricist are hard to find, but when you have a frontman as talented behind the mic as behind a pen like Mad Joe Black, you have to cherish it.
Members of Wisdom in Chains have been part of the hardcore scene since 1995 as part of Mushmouth and their dedication to hardcore and punk is obvious from the quality of this recording. Every instrument on The god rhythm sounds crystal clear and very natural. With a thin layer of reverberation on the drums, an excellent mixing of the vocals and a good electrical feel from the guitars (the solo on Mathematics being a perfect example), The god rhythm sounds like a perfect mix of punk rock, hardcore and metal. I especially appreciate the use of the gang vocals to underline some of the melodies (Best of me) rather than a way to sound desperately tough.
Mad Joe Black’s voice sounds particularly soulful. Whereas a lot of clean singing in hardcore nowadays sounds very metal (Twitching Tongues, Steel Nation), he offers here a very strong performance while still retaining the simplicity of punk. The kind of vocals you can sing along to, but most importantly, that you want to sing along to.
From every two step to every lyrics, Wisdom in Chains is the incarnation of what you want to hear from a hardcore band in 2015. It does not revolutionary but it does not sound conservative either. It just sounds hopeful, dedicated and sincere.