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Pennsylvania metalcore troupe This or The Apocalypse transcend the genre's mundane monotonies with an abundance of nimble guitarwork and clever juxtapositions of brutality and melody on their 10-track debut MONUMENTS. This unit's lineage is easily traced to bands such as Misery Signals and fellow statesmen This Day Forward thanks to a common bond forged from similar composition devices and non-linear structural nuances, yet This or the Apocalypse manage to bring fresh perspectives to otherwise burly breakdowns ("Elegiac", "This is Debt"), slam with sinewy riffs and tech-like rhythmic patterns ("Two Wars") and even go so far as to include a calm and atmospheric feedback-laden jam in for added texture ("Memento Mori"). Some may complain that this squad follow the blueprint of August Burns Red a bit too closely, but if it's a kick in the ass from a stale style that you're looking for that takes enough chances and left turns without falling too far off the path, then this quintet is worth a spin.
- Mike SOS