It's 2022 and a lot has happened since the last RYKER'S release in 2019. The world we knew then has changed massively and certainly not for the better.
Has this had an influence on one of the few constants in Europe's hardcore scene? Yes, it has!
RYKER'S take on the last two years is a brutally dark bullet of hate that makes you wonder how much frustration and anger must have built up here.
The return of original frontman Kid.D., who gives free verbal rein to his aggression, fits the new songs like a fist in the eye, as they say in Germany.
Musically, RYKER’S have moved back closer to classic albums like 'First Blood' and 'Brother Against Brother', but in a contemporary mould. The rhythm section around drummer Flo and bassist Chris forms a brutal carpet of sound, Steve turns out one murderous riff after another and Fusel's leads effortlessly cover the spectrum from thrash to punk.
The opener 'When the Dam Has Broken' takes no prisoners and sets the tone. Storming energetically right behind is the furious 'Bread & Circuses' which will surely become a live classic with its violent gang shouts and mosh parts. 'Ours Was a Noble Cause' comes along heavy and dark, reminiscent of songs like 'True Colors' from the Brother Against Brother' album. 'Mentally Unlocked' shows just how comfortable RYKER'S feel in pretty much all realms of extreme music. The lyrics are brutally cynical and pay tribute to the old Slayer. The lyrics on this occasion are, in fact, more evil and sarcastic as a rule, and sometimes even melancholic. 'Death Divides / Death Unites' is thought-provoking, 'The Road to Better' features an unexpected two-part guitar solo and 'Always Forgive/Never Forget' illustrates how to integrate a guest vocalist (Rich O'Brien - Darkside NYC) to the benefit of everyone involved. The closing UK Subs anthem 'Riot' rounds off the whole package excellently in every respect.
This time round, the band handled the recording themselves, and they obviously knew what they wanted – anything but your typical metalcore trigger soup. This album sounds organic and spontaneous; you might almost think that everything was recorded live, the energy and rawness were captured that exquisitely. As always, the whole thing was refined, i.e. mixed and mastered, by long-time producer and friend Andy Classen, who understood the boys' state of mind and raised it to an entirely new level.
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