The Five Hundred is a metalcore band hailing from Nottingham in the United Kingdom. The quintet has been around since the first half of the past decade in which they have released a few EPs and, in 2015, a full length called Bleeding Red. Little is known about the band members as they don’t reveal all too much about themselves. Apparently they prefer to let their music do the talking and, judging by this album, rightfully so. The accompanying lyrics touch several heavy issues that weigh heavily on the band members’ minds and they have no problem delivering their message loud and clear. For this release the red line is the havoc we wreak on our earth and the inevitable consequences thereof.
Since we already know the guys felt the need to translate the urgency and seriousness of the issues they take on in their lyrics into the songs, the only question that needs to be answered is how that sounds. Well, let’s start by saying their message is received loud and clear as they go in for the kill within seconds with album opener. Meaningfully titled Black Dogs, it is a song that is, quite topical, about the effects of isolation and mental health augmented by the way we treat the world around us. Based on personal experience this song paints a grim picture that comes with a musical frame that can only be described as fitting. Combining heaviness and aggressiveness the no-nonsense metalcore these guys smack you in the face with tortures your eardrums in a very pleasant way. The relentless drum lines, the raging guitars, the buzzing bass lines and the aggressively attacking vocals, if this doesn’t get you all riled up, nothing will. And if that is the case, you might as well stop listening to this altogether, because what you hear in the first song is what you get throughout the entire release, starting with the soothingly starting but soon exploding The Rising Tide, that gives us a clear indication about what awaits us in the near future if we keep doing what we’re doing.
A World On Fire is capable of taking its unsuspecting listener by surprise with its aggressive, crushing musical approach that is only surpassed by the grim message it spreads. Even the guests, Cabal’s deathcore roar Andreas Bjulver in Walls of Jericho and Red Method’s Jeremy Gomez in Your Apocalypse blend seamlessly in into this well-organized wall of frustration and anger screaming sound. So consider yourself warned, but don’t let that warning scare you away from this album in any way. Despite my description the music is surprisingly accessible and, even more so, a real treat. You do not simply listen to this album, you experience it and it is well worth your time and attention. The guys from The Five Hundred have clearly found a way to channel their anger, frustration and powerlessness about the path we humans have chosen into their tunes resulting in a very strong soundtrack that aggressively underlines the severity and seriousness of the crisis and subsequent demise we allow Mother Earth to cruise towards. A very powerful statement that cannot be ignored even if you wanted to. Point taken. Now it’s your turn to value both the album and the statement. Highly recommended!