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First Blood - Silence Is Betrayal

WREN   (346 reviews)

Posted: 10/10/2010 | Comments: 18 | Rate:

It’s been 7 years since First Blood burst onto the scene with their highly touted demo (later redubbed as an EP) and it’s been 4 years since the band has released any new material. Have no fear. The mosh kings from California are back with their much anticipated follow-up to Killafornia in Silence Is Betrayal.

Much of what I could have said if I was asked to review Killafornia, I could say about the new album. First Blood created a simple formula of heavy thrash metal like riffs that would lead into ultra chuggy breakdowns. Lace in easy to remember and catchy sing-alongs and you have yourself the complete package. Rinse and repeat. It’s not the most technical way of writing music but it works for them. Surprisingly in a scene that is becoming ultra saturated with First Blood clones, the band has a certain one up on the rest of their peers when it comes to writing music. As simple as it may be, First Blood has always had that extra “oomph” in all the right places.

One thing that First Blood really had going for them was the whole Rambo theme. Starting all the way back with the demo memorable parts from the movie were scattered throughout the disc as hidden gems of joy. The war like lyrics helped push the vibe even further to almost a near gimmick stage, but in a good way. For Silence Is Betrayal it seems that the band has decided to strip all the fun away and take a more serious approach to the whole concept of their record. Gone, with the exception of the very last soundclip of the entire record, are the Rambo parts. Inserted in their place are various speeches either by soldiers or political figures that talk about the horrors of the war or how much of a mistake this current war we are fighting is. Some of the sound clips even boarder on Conspiracy Theory. Instead of wanting to recite my favorite lines from First Blood or Rambo: First Blood Part 2, I found myself feeling very uncomfortable at the rhetoric that I was having spewed into my ears.

Lyrically, singer Carl Schwartz has opted to go in the same route as his sound clips. I’m not familiar with all the lyrics but a lot of the stuff that I was able to pick out seemed to fall right in place with whatever sound clip was being used to interrupt a songs momentum. The war theme remains from the previous records but there is definitely a new message behind the words this time.

Recommending this to people really comes down on how much you can tolerate or agree with the message and if you are still into the idea of another First Blood record. Musically you are getting dealt the same package as before but a lot of the “fun” vibe is killed off with the serious tone.

Note: There are 4 bonus tracks that exist on some version of this record but I did not get those. Technically they would be tracks 11, 12, 14, and 15

11. Occupation
12. Fascism
14. Messenger
15. Survive

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Dave B. #2
4,663 Posts
it's a weird dynamic how if other bands had a chuggy, war-like sound like first blood, people would probably think it sucks. but for some reason it works for them and they make decent tunes. i enjoyed the last record and carl schwartz is one of the nicest, most genuine people i've ever had an opportunity to talk to. excited to check this record out.
Born to Expire.
6,628 Posts
This band makes me tired.
Dog pound
20,398 Posts
Their demo was hot shit...Killafornia was ok at best, I hope this is a little bit better.
Old Head
38,503 Posts
Saw them live years ago, didn't really impress me.
hardcore for life
24,618 Posts
why bonus tracks are numbered 11, 12, 14, 15 instead of 13, 14, 15, 16?
Pulp Free
52,194 Posts
Because they aren't just at the end of the record. The songs that I didn't get were technically those tracks I listed.
we run this city
4,283 Posts
the demo was the only good thing they've ever done
I have no legs!
2,618 Posts
I dunno Kev...their split with Blacklisted were the best songs they ever wrote IMO...
25,328 Posts
Killafornia RULED. but this..mrehhhhh I guess it's okay.
we run this city
4,283 Posts
Originally posted by: KTroublesome

I dunno Kev...their split with Blacklisted were the best songs they ever wrote IMO...

your worong sir!!!
we run this city
4,283 Posts
Originally posted by: Whiteboy Day

my life is just one giant boring breakdown after breakdown

I have no legs!
3 Posts
It was pretty much what I expected, however I'm not mad about it. I liked Killafornia, and I like this a little bit better.
I brought gifts
17,781 Posts
Killafornia was boring.....well the parts that weren't already on the demo
12,352 Posts
loved the demo and the dead mans hand blacklisted split. stoked to hear the new record hopefully it's better than killafornia.
new cocks
145,803 Posts
tides is an awesome song

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