Southern California’s Forced Order have consistently proven they’re more than another hardcore band. The band’s blend of relentless breakdowns and searing guitar solos has placed them at the front lines of the scene’s comeback. Force Order’s sophomore record, One Last Prayer, ups the intensity and hammers away at the eardrums.
The Fury of One Last Prayer
One Last Prayer burns quickly, the entire record clocking in just over 20 minutes. The majority of the record keeps up the vicious, metallic energy that has defined them. Vocalist Nic Samayoa’s throat-shredding howls punctuate every punch and pound of the instrumentals, emphasizing the band’s energy. With One Last Prayer, Forced Order let their sound evolve into something intimidating and awesome.
Saint George’s Cross
One Last Prayer‘s album is a hazy depiction of a crowd of knights ready for battle. Their shields bare Saint George’s Cross, a symbol later adopted by King Edward III in 1348 and eventually became England’s flag. As the patron saint of England, Saint George is believed to be the country’s spiritual protector. Saint George was believed to have led many into the throes of battle until dying a martyr for his faith in AD303.
Forced Order’s use of Saint George’s Cross on their album art establishes some interesting themes. Saint George’s Cross was used as a symbol of victory. The track list throughout One Last Prayer reads like chapters of a war novel. The band convey a kind of desperation through their music, as though fighting a battle of their own. In addition to the band’s war-like demeanor, the album art and title insist similar ideas.
Forced Order and Saint George
The knights on Forced Order’s album art appear to be poised for battle. Traditionally, crusaders marched into battle heavily armored in a tight formation. They would move shoulder-to-shoulder, pushing through opposing forces. This method often led to uncertain results, relying on one another to hold formation. Perhaps this is the theme of Forced Order’s One Last Prayer. In society’s current vicious state, maybe the key is to hold fast and stand by one another as a last resort.
Forced Order offer a kind of depth that is uncommon of their genre. Beneath the breakdowns and guttural vocals are layers of colorful instrumentation and thematic storytelling. The war-like nature of the record reflects society’s current state, but perhaps standing together is all we can do.
Stream Forced Order’s aggressive new record One Last Prayer, out now on Triple B Records.
Check out Forced Order’s most recent appearance in Glasgow, Scotland earlier this year: