Forced Order, One Last Prayer (Triple-B Records, 2017)

California's Forced Order have returned with their second full-length record, once again perfecting that metal-tinged hardcore that is reminiscent of the Cleveland hardcore sound of the mid-'90s. 

From the second the album starts, Forced Order doesn't slow down one bit. The songs are constant, fierce and in your face, the breakdowns are short, sweet, and never repetitive, keeping it interesting and ready for the next.

Nic Samayoa's gruff vocals are sharp and unrelenting, laying into each track like a battle cry. The guitar work done down by Michael Cesario and Kyle Thomas compliments each other, especially when it comes to the Melnick-era integrity styled solos, they've nailed this sound very well. 

On a production level, this record sounds great. Compared to their first LP (2015's Vanished Crusade), everything sounds clearer. Alfredo Gutierrez' thunderous bass is way more noticeable and prominent on One Last Prayer, combined with Dorian Zambrano's constant pummeling drums leading the attack. 

Photo: Dan Rawe

Overall, Forced Order continues to only get better with each release. One Last Prayer is a prime example of that, taking their formula of metal-infused hardcore punk and pushing it to the next level. My only complaint is that the record could have been a song or two longer. It left me wanting more, but I'll take what I can get. I give this record a 9 out of 10. 

Standout tracks are the ripping title track, the hard-hitting "Perpetual Dusk," and "Tears Will Fall," plus the relentless finale, "Play Dead." The latter track leads into the closing sound collage/instrumental (which seems to have become a trademark for the end of their records), "Consecration/Winter Resistance." For returning fans, this is a great addition to the discography, if not their best effort to date. For newcomers, this is a prime example of what Forced Order is all about. 

One Last Prayer is out now and available directly from Triple-B Records.

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