Review: Madina Lake - World War III

Anyone who has picked up an issue of K! over the past year and a half will be familiar with the horror that hardcore group Madina Lake faced last June, wether they had heard any of their music prior to the event, in which bassist Matthew Leone was horrendously assaulted outside brother and frontman, Nathan's apartment after he tried to help a woman who was being beaten by her husband, a heroic act which resulted in the man beating him putting him in critical condition and the need to have a third of his skull removed by doctors. After months of mass heartache and treatment both physical and emotional for everyone in the band and mass support put towards the band from fans and fellow musicians worldwide, and following Matthew's gradual recovery, they make a return, with a greater following and a lot to prove with third album World War III.

As you could imagine, the attack Matthew faced has triggered an emotional response within the band, giving their music it's angriest and most bitter sound to date. It manages to sum up the kind of feelings the band must have been feeling at the time of the attack. Anger, hatred towards the world, an overwhelming sense of sadness and pain. Even the more celebratory uplifting sections of music feel like they're covering up something far more gruesome underneath. How they manage to take all these feelings and turn them into a collection of really hooky and catchy melodic hardcore songs is astonishing.
 Tracks like Imagineer and Hey Superstar are some of the catchiest rock songs I've heard all year, yet they're so bitter and fueled by rage. It is truly a sign that they've worked with the negativity felt to help enhance their sound to a new sense of depth within their music and it's simply breathtaking. The various electronic elements used in the album in tracks like Fireworks and Across 5 Oceans also manage to carry this feeling of fury along with a sense of relentless
 So, World War III can be seen as something of a breath of fresh air amongst the hardcore punk scene. Everything about it is so driven by emotion, be it in Matthew's brooding basslines or the furious melodic punk vocals of Nathan, and yet it's still a fun and enjoyable experience. This album is something of a marvel and shows Madina Lake to be stronger and more passionate than ever.

 Madina Lake's World War III is out now via Long Branch Records. The band will tour the UK in November with Chiodos and My Passion.