Sick World

Now Soldiers

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On this five-track EP, the brutal Pinellas outfit Now Soldiers eschews the theatrical images and death-metal influence that dominate screamo, but manage to steer clear of old-school metalcore's bland mosh-pit grooves on the strength of musicianship and committed performance. Frontman Tyler Toth's vocals rarely stray from the standard attitude-laden bark — it's the music that provides the melody, and guitarists Joseph Gordon and Austin Thomas do so without sacrificing heft or relying on classic-metal clichés, particularly on "Headless" and "The Oldest Game." The rhythm section keeps things interesting throughout, handing out dynamic tempo shifts when it feels right but never getting too technical. This is a local band that's more than ready for the national stage. 4 stars

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