Comeback Kid. Whether you're a fan of the hardcore scene or not, you're familiar with that name. Whether that is due to some kid's shirt at a show (there's always that one awesome dude) or a band listing them as a major influence, the band has made its place as one of the flag bearers for modern hardcore. It's been 4 years since the last album, but the band is showing that they aren't going to slow down. This is Comeback Kid's heaviest album, and some would argue their best since “Wake The Dead”.
One of the most recognizable elements of CBK are the vocals and rightfully so. The band has had two major eras, the early years with Scott Wade, and then the later years with the band's rhythm guitarist Andrew Neufeld picking up the vocal duties. The good news is that Neufeld has never sounded better than he does on “Die Knowing” with a sense of confidence and urgency that was lacking in some previous releases. Coincidentally, the two vocalists do get a chance to stand toe to toe on the track “Full Swing” and Neufeld walks away the winner. The vocal delivery is best described as a combination of Drew York's (Stray From The Path), and Scott Vogel (Terror). As a fan of both those bands, I can definitely say it is a wonderful mashup and works on this album to great effect. Instrumentally, “Die Knowing” is pretty much what you expect from a Comeback Kid album, but they do it exceptionally well.
However, the band does adopt a heavier sound on a majority of tracks, even adding in some metalcore influences. Despite being heavy, the album is also very melodic. “Sink In” has one of the best sing along choruses the band has put out to date, CBK has found a great sound with this album and I do hope we find them expanding upon it more in future releases. “Die Knowing” starts off the album with a slow powerchord progression, preparing the listener for the attack that the album is about to unleash. This transitions into one of the faster paced songs on the album with “Lower The Line”. Culminating in a stellar breakdown, this is one that will have you pressing repeat. Couple this with the next track and single “Wasted Arrows” and you have a knockout blow. The album does tend to bleed together after awhile, which is a problem most hardcore releases have.
The middle section of “Die Knowing” gets a little bogged down because all tracks start to sound the same. However, because the album is relatively short this does not become a huge issue. I never once found myself becoming so bored that I skipped to another selection half way through. The final tracks on the album more than make up for any middle slog, going out swinging harder than they came in. The band has stuck with a tried and true vicious sonic assault throughout their career, and on “Die Knowing” they have never sounded better. This is CBK at their heaviest and it works to great effect. After a lengthy break between albums, this was a hell of an album to come back with.