Hey, do you remember when labels like Ferret Records and Trustkill Records pumped out metalcore bands like it was the early 2000’s version of the scramble to find the next Nirvana? At that time it was difficult to find a teenager that didn’t know who Atreyu were, and mixing the melodic death metal of the Gothenburg scene with tough-guy swagger of hardcore was all the rage. Well, if you didn’t know, metalcore is still here, and no, I’m not talking about the heavier strain called deathcore, or the tech-obsessed djent bands either. In the case of Undawn, I’m talking melodic guitar work, yelled verses and sung choruses, and savage breakdowns, it’s all there. They play a melodic version of metalcore that definitely owes a lot of its sound to the like of In Flames, as well as American bands like Times Of Grace.
Melodic lead guitars abound, punishing breakdowns, hardcore style vocals, everything you could want from a metalcore album can be found right here, even a cameo from Björn Strid from Soilwork! One pitfall of the metalcore genre that Undawn manage to avoid is over-emphasis on the breakdowns; while there are plenty to be had throughout the album, it never feels like the rest of the song is simply filler between breakdowns. The breakdowns never feel like they were tacked on, since they always feel like a natural part of the progression of each song; still, the yelled verses/sung choruses can be a bit too formulaic.
Had Justice Is… come out in 2002 or 2003, Undawn could have absolutely taken the world by storm, sadly, by now the style is slightly dated. After all, there were more bands playing this exact sound at the turn of the century than you could shake a stick at. Nevertheless, Undawn play with a sense of sincerity, and the chemistry between instruments is a perfect mix. If you like your metalcore melodic, with nods to the Swedish melodic death metal scene, Justice Is… can certainly satisfy your craving.