Trail of Lies, W.A.R. (Edgewood Records, 2018)

Hardcore needed Trail of Lies. Since their drop of the EP Strength Through Discipline in 2016, they have ascended the ranks within the genre like a rocket with no signs of slowing down. With many bands opting for more focus on image, crowd service oriented mosh parts or obscure artistic presence, Trail of Lies has gone against all this to bring the community straight forward, genuine hardcore that has a real message.

I cite Youth of Today’s effect on the hardcore scene at their inception in the late '80s. There was a very nihilistic outlook that permeated throughout the genre at the time and all of the sudden you had these in shape clean cut kids playing hardcore music about positivity and doing better for yourself. That is Trail of Lies in 2018. Gone are the ideal sets and lyrical content of self deprecation of the years of yore. Trail of Lies is here and shouting that they will “Fight for Victory” amongst other anthemic themes of perseverance presented on their debut LP, W.A.R. 

W.A.R. is set to release this week via Edgewood Records and I fortunately had the privilege to check it out early, let me tell you what you have in store.

The record retains the influence Trail has paid homage to on their previous releases. A heavy a dose of Hatebreed and Earth Crisis can be heard throughout. The record starts out with the song “Master of My Destiny” and ends with “Fight for Victory," maintaining the theme of personal power on most if not each of the eight tracks. I feel it is important for hardcore kids of any nature, be it new or of an established tenure to hear this record and study it’s themes. In a world where you have many hardcore bands saying "I’m having a hard time getting through life,” or not really saying anything at all, you have Trail of Lies telling you, “Yes. Yes you can get through this.”; this is something to be valued and not to be taken at a passing glance.

There are two songs on the record that are rerecorded from previous releases, one is “Ultradominance” from the Strength Through Discipline EP, and the other is the title track of the God of Rage promo, both versions are a step above their previous offerings. 

My personal favorite track on the new record is “Black Mirror." The tremolo picking of the chords on this one are reminiscent of Merauder. I feel this track stands out amongst the other songs as a bit more interesting and incorporates a healthy diversity of parts while also providing beatdown oriented mosh breaks that many fans of the genre today want to hear. Many songs on the record are good, but this one is great. 

Photo: Ken Penn (Just a Minor Threat)

W.A.R. is eight songs of power, just enough to satisfy you, but scarce enough to leave you wanting more. The lyrics are simple and steadfast, but hold a thematic meaning you can apply to any obstacle in your life. Trail of Lies are the masters of doing a lot with a little and are a machine hellbent on becoming the biggest hardcore band they can possibly be. With this debut LP, they are for sure heading in the right direction.


W.A.R. is available for pre-order via Edgewood Records in the States. The following labels are handling the release in Europe (Farewell Records), Australia (Life.Lair.Regret Records), and Japan (Retribution Network).

Tagged: trail of lies