Pure, beautiful hard core is such a treat to stumble upon, because there are many, many attempts at the genre of music out there in this world. KEN Mode is one of those nice little finds that stay true to the idea of hard core and have the harsh sound necessary of the genre but also have a bit of melody and artistic notions about their sound to be a step above most other “hard core” artists.
Guitar wise, the band has riffs that are not only audible over the pounding bass and annihilating drums, the riffs are creative and easy to learn so when you hear the song again, singing along with not only the lyrics but the riffs is possible. It just gives the band another area for fans to connect to. Vocally, the screams are harsh enough to capture the purest fan, but with enough variation on the guttural screams to keep the music interesting and allowing the vocals to fit in with the melodic guitar playing instead of just useless screaming covering up some of the complex guitar lines.
They have quiet yet haunting moments too, like on “Romeo Must Never Know” when the singing never gets above a mourning whisper. I think those quiet tracks are where the true talent of a hard-core band lies. If a band known for being loud and aggressive can also make music that can be beautiful and not need booming sounds to get the message across, then their loud moments come across that much louder and more powerful. After hearing any break in the sound on this album, the crushing riffs sound so much better and KEN Mode is able to work the contrast in their music extremely well.