Ah...a self-described hardcore band from California called Spinebreaker. This sounds promising. Turns out, this outfit has just as much metal as hardcore punk (but is not what we call "metal-core", by any means) and delivers the chops that the band name would have the listener wait for.
The short intro track "Enter the Storm..." starts on a high note (figuratively speaking) that, along with the ellipses, draws the listener in from the very start. The next track, tactfully titled "...Into the Ice Grave", opens with an maintains addictive guitar riffs and mid-tempo drumming which, as previously stated, convey old-school hardcore and thrash metal without entering the modern metal-core genre in the vein of Trivium or Killswitch Engage. (If memory serves, this music is what the terms "metal-core" and "crossover" referred to in the late 80s and early 90s.)
The vocalist straddles the tightrope between European thrash and mid-80s death metal vocals with both middle fingers in the air, which is itself a befitting instrument in this energetic album. The lyrics and song titles give the album a hint of variety that also keeps any metal-head (or hardcore aficionado) interested and engaged all throughout; tracks include "Internal Bleeding" and "Flesh Wound", and also "Divine Mortal Being" and "Slithering Tyrant".
My rating: 8.5/10
Everything is on point in this album.