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Label: Geenger Records

Date: December 1st, 2023

Is it already time to wrap-up 2023? Seems like it. As far as Serbian hardcore is concerned, it lacked no fruit whatsoever, quite evenly spread across the solar cycle. And this is not just a homeboy, local patriot speaking out of me. The quality that broke out of Serbia this year actually supersedes many previous ones. Not only that, but we’ve had all generations shine through. Somehow, the kids broke out the barriers of the first half of 2023, only to let the old geezers breathe for the remainder of it.

You’ve gathered from the above written that Reckoning are no virgins on the scene. Though active under this moniker for just about two years, the members’ individual past reflects the history of Serbian hardcore punk. Literally, there’s just a few out of the most influential bands on our scene that didn’t feature any member of Reckoning. Now, all that experience, know-how and energy are gathered in one place. To what end, one might ask. No end, should be the answer. Literal and metaphorical. Reckoning seems to be a band of good friends striving for another musical output, without much necessity to “succeed” on the scene.

Given all that, there’s no surprise that this new EP sounds the way it does. A recording that won’t shift the balance on the long-running wheels of metalized hardcore punk, but won’t quite leave you alone all that easily either. Reckoning made no effort to leave their comfort zone. They are rooted deeply in the heavy hardcore, with just a slight thrash metal undertone. An old formula, but way too often misused. However, this is where the quartet’s creative experience comes out. The power and effectiveness of these four tracks show that the band has used the long years to pick up all the tricks of the trade and put them to good use.

The songs on “This is War” are not derivates, though Reckoning uses the known tools. The arrangements, the breakdowns, the gang vocals, the tough guitars, galloping drums… All heard before, yet all sounding fresh and extremely driving throughout these fourteen minutes.

As sole exceptions, I would point out the guitar work in the final track, “Nothing Ventured / Nothing Gained” and Mr. Ćurčija’s voice. Quite an intriguing, “slithering” lead guitar appears in the said song to shake things up a bit. As for the Reckoning’s frontman, he has been silent for over a decade and his unique voice and singing mannerism are a comeback we didn’t even know we needed. I must say that, with all the talent around him on stage, he is likely the “x factor” to push this act further. Then again, it is clear that his versatile delivery gets more than appropriate pummeling from the skins and strings.

What more to say? By the time you’re done with this review, “This is War” will have run its course and you could’ve made your own judgement about it. So, how can I convince you? Do I even have to? I still consider myself a dreamer who thinks the good music will somehow emerge at the surface, no matter what. Hopefully, Reckoning will prove me right.

In the meantime, it’s a very good idea to stop “following the worst of us” and let Reckoning “feed off the best in us”. Great job!

P. S. How about a physical release the next time around?


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