Belvedere - “The Revenge of the Fifth” (2016)
When it comes to iconic bands in the Canadian skate punk / melodic hardcore scene, Belvedere is a definite stand-out. They have inspired so many bands, especially from their breakup in 2005 to the present day. The saying always goes that when an artist passes away, his art becomes far more popular and lucrative. The same can be said of a band like Belvedere during their inactive years. Fans craved for more music along the chance of a reunion show and possibly more. On April 27, 2012 it became a reality in Paris and that's all she wrote.
Since 2005, the band members have matured like all of us, started families and like many bands when they call it quits, the members were involved in other musical projects which provided new musical tastes. Therefore, with "The Revenge of the Fifth" (RofTF) you have certain songs that are reminiscent of the band's 2004 full length, "Fast Forward East the Tape" (FFETT), and other songs that provide a new feel (more on that later). Like many in the scene and especially in Canada, FFETT opened a lot of eyes and ears since the guitars and song structure are so unique and mesh so well-together. For me anyways, it's an iconic album and like "The Shape of Punk To Come" by Refused, a signature album for its genre. Talk about a tough act to follow, right!?
As mentioned previously, as the band evolved as people, so did their sound. On RofTF, you get that old school Belvedere feel with songs like "Hairline", "Transmissions", "Revenge of the Fifth" and "The Architect" but you also see the band's progression with songs like "Carpe Per Diem" with its new vocal ideas and "Delicastressin" which to me, is the most complete song on this album as you hear, dare I say, the new Belvedere. The song's tempo changes, shred factor and its memorable chorus line give me goosebumps like past Belvedere classics. Casey, the band's most recent member (drums), also had a big impact on the band's sound. And if you haven't heard Casey's other band, The Evidence, do yourself a favor and listen to their latest effort, "Potential" (2013). Along with being on drums, he's the lead vocalist, and damn, that man can sing! So you can expect some very fine back-ups from Casey (and the guys) when Belvedere resumes their post-RofTF shows in 2016 and throughout the album of course.
Lyrically, the band touches on many subjects, and once again, this is due to their years away from the scene. From world issues, to the highs and lows of playing shows when you start off as a band, to being responsible for the future of our planet, RofTF is about the past and the future since as we all know, Belvedere didn't choose this life, this life chose them long ago.
After a few years of Belvedere writing this gem, it was well-worth the wait for fans and ultimately, for the band to put their work into reality. Once a band returns to the scene after years of inactivity, there is always an expectation to sound just like the days of old, and in this case, I'm happy that Belvedere stayed on that path but also more importantly, the guys created a new masterpiece, a fine piece of art.
Marc - The Grind PRR