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CD Review

Legacy: Madball

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Formed in 1988, Madball has had a lot of time to perfect the sound of New York's hardcore scene. It has been five years since Madball's last full-length album, and with their latest release, Legacy, New York's quintessential hardcore band stays true to their formula. The self-proclaimed "Kings of NYHC" give us nothing new or innovative, but vocalist Freddy Cricien bites through the lyrics with an intensity that reminds you why this band has been around so long. Working with producer Zeuss (Hatebreed, Shadow Falls), Madball has a sound that is crisp while maintaining their staple grit.

Guitarist Mitts delivers guitar riffs that are hard and fast, while bassist Hoya Roc holds it all together with powerful bass lines. Lyrically, they stick to real life themes that have always been at the core of their music. Cricien screams of lessons learned from his time in prison on "Behind these Walls," while the title track "Legacy," calls for "pride and integrity" in a profound homage to those who have paved the way in the hardcore scene. As one of the strongest songs on the album, "Heaven-Hell" delivers gut-wrenching pleas for redemption in the form of an anthem. While Rigg Ross' drumming in the Spanish-sung "100%" demonstrates Ross' ability above and beyond that of the average hardcore band. For those feeling nostalgic for earlier Madball, "Hardcore Pride" is a 15-second follow-up to their 1996 release Hardcore Still Lives! with Mitts and Hoya on vocals. The album closes with the track "Worldwide," which is catchy, affirming and has "headbanging crowd-pleaser" written all over it. Overall, Legacy does not disappoint with its mixture of brutally honest lyrics combined with powerful head-exploding sounds. Plus, there is a bonus DVD included, which features behind-the-scenes footage from the making of Legacy, as well as two live performances that will leave Madball fans screaming for more.