Injustice & In Pain – Presence of Fear

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A year ago, I moved to western Michigan. After living in and being involved in the music scene in Connecticut, my perception and expectations of scenes elsewhere was naively isolated. Although I have attended relatively few shows in Michigan compared to Connecticut, the bands I have seen have demonstrated an unprecedented, raw energy in hardcore.

A few months ago, I watched a set from Muskegon outfit Presence of Fear. Their metallic, no-frills style of hardcore exuded an engaging energy, banter between sets was stated with conviction, and emotional intent evoked a strong sense of what the band stands for. They formed in 2013, releasing a demonstration shortly after. Since that first effort, they have released a split with Detain titled Infernal Punishment, but more recently put out an EP titled Injustice & In Pain.

Injustice & In Pain is anger incarnate. Instrumentally, this EP is clearly influenced by Cold as Life and Hatebreed. The style of hardcore on the release is straightforward, rooted in distaste for the world. From the opening, the listener is bombarded by a strong taste of what is to come on Injustice & In Pain: violence is encouraged. The record covers lyrical themes including personal struggle, distrust for the government and having to deal with the cold, harsh reality inherent living at the bottom of the social ladder; we are expendable.

My gripe with this project, albeit minor, lies in its repetitive nature. While each track varies in its thematic and instrumental execution, the listener may be hard-pressed to find variation in the coordination of each song. In future efforts, Presence of Fear will hopefully drift from this kind of monotony and find new ways to exude the same kind of energy.

Injustice & In Pain is a well-executed, true-to-form hardcore EP, and proves Presence of Fear is not to be trifled with: the anger of these boys is not a mood; it is nothing temporary; it is not a facade used to intensify a fifteen-minute set. Bask in it.

3.5/5 H’s



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