Album review: Cage Fight – Cage Fight

TesseracT guitarist lets out his inner beast with new hardcore bruisers Cage Fight…

Album review: Cage Fight – Cage Fight
Paul Travers

Cage Fight sound exactly what you’d expect a band called Cage Fight to sound like; dragging you to the mat and striking with a succession of vicious knee and elbow blows to the vitals. What’s surprising is that this is the brainchild of TesseracT guitarist James Monteith and long-time friend and collaborator, bassist/MC Jon Reid. With his day-job band Monteith is generally found cranking out mid-bending polyrhythms and complex runs. With this project he unleashes something far more primal.

It comes out swinging from the off, with The Mirror Shattered recalling classic NYHC bruisers like Agnostic Front and Madball. The guitar sound is so thick and they have the gear changes – from full-throttle circle pit fuel to monstrous chug – absolutely nailed. There’s no let-up throughout, although the angle of attack varies. Hope Castrated brings in some jagged thrash moves while Eating Me Alive, featuring a guest appearance by The Black Dahlia Murder’s Trevor Strnad, mixes its pugilistic grooves with a harsher abrasive edge.

Monteith might not be hitting the same levels of intricacy as he does with TessersacT but everything is expertly delivered, from the perfectly pummelling riffs to the squalling Slayer-esque solos. The rhythms pin the whole thing together and vocalist Rachel Aspe puts in her own killer performance

Towards the end My Dreams takes things in a more epic and atmospheric direction that could hint at different things to come, before a stomping cover of Body Count’s Bitch In The Pit body slams it back to the canvass.

Cage Fight is nothing that old-school hardcore fans won’t be entirely familiar with but it’s a project delivered with passion, knowledge and a great deal of skill.

Rating: 4/5

For fans of: Agnostic Front, Hatebreed, Slayer

Cage Fight is released on May 13 via Candlelight

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