MELODIC METALCORE: Since 2008, Tuscaloosa, AL, band Gideon has always defied conventions within metalcore. Creating their own dissonant sound and never settling for anything less than what they felt stretched the boundaries of contemporary metalcore, their 2011 debut album, Costs, put the massive powerhouse on the map, showing the industry and the scene that there were more artistic layers in their arsenal than the standard metalcore guise. Gideon has always been incredibly prolific, fusing melodic hardcore and hardcore punk elements into its songs while maintaining an underlying spirit of defiance and optimism. Keeping their tremendous momentum going, the band released two full-lengths, Milestone and Calloused, on Facedown Records in 2012 and 2014, respectively, before signing to Equal Vision Records.

Cold (2017) and Out of Control (2019) demonstrated the band’s ascent to fame in the scene. When the pandemic struck, it seemed there was no hope left for the band and their musical career in the future. MORE POWER. MORE PAIN. is Gideon’s sixth full-length studio album, exemplifying that the Alabama melodic metalcore/hardcore band’s future is written in the stars. Recorded, mixed, and mastered by Randy Lebouef at Graphic Nature Audio, the band’s newest installment is brimming with vigorous intensity underscored by their own melodic cadence that shifts with each track experience.

MORE POWER. MORE PAIN. starts with a personal interview segment called “Hell for a Man,” taking the album into the annihilating first track, “Locked Out of Heaven.” An imposing experience of guitar patterns, hard-hitting percussive energies, and Daniel McWorther’s  vocals, the record kicks things off with a bang for more favorable moments that will gain traction soon after.

The grueling energies keep progressing with one of the album’s mosh pit defining moments, “Push It Back.” Showing the band’s diabolically diverse nature, Gideon holds nothing back as it moves into the album’s defining moment, “Too Much Is Never Enough.” Gideon delivers a gut punch of maddening, metal-tinged hardcore, corrosive guitars, and infectious chugging riffs, clearly demonstrating that they spent the pandemic sharpening their skills to knockout perfection.

The amply titled track “MORE POWER. MORE PAIN.” contains additional obliterating intersections that support its heavy narrative. Gideon exhibits control and tenacity in their new approach to their sound, showcasing the dominant and confident nature the band is known for. “Take Off” continues to challenge and subvert the genre and defy expectations with its use of turntable scratching into its instrumental folds, while electronic soundscapes and almost psychedelic guitars underpin its colossal burst of metallic turbulence.

“If You Love Me, Let Me Go” is a gorgeous melodic highlight of the album. Its timing and atmospheric structure are second to none and display just how layered and bold Gideon is with their instrumental framework. “Off the Rails” and “The Final Nail” continue to fine-tune this dynamic guitar and mephistophelian touch as it violently dances with some of the best drum work on the album. “I Will Carry You” is euphoric and beautifully transcendent. Despite its hypnotic properties, Gideon is not afraid to show and unburden the raw trauma beneath their infernal instrumental spirit.

Gideon punches away the last of their darkness with the final track, “Back to Basics.” A finale that is a culmination of bruising and punishing force exemplifies Gideon’s long journey as a band over the last few years.

MORE POWER. MORE PAIN. is an intimate story of defiance and overcoming adversity. Detailing their story through a series of personal interview segments and a kaleidoscopic dose of melodic heaviness, Gideon shows a band that has been through it all and has accomplished its dreams. Although the pandemic almost prevented them from realizing their ambitions, Gideon proves that no goal is too big or too small to be realized. ~ Sammie Star