Sometimes the first half of an album of cinematic folk ballads or an experimental hip-hop track encapsulating the career of a cult afrofuturist techno act are just what is needed to scratch that pervasive musical itch. What about all those other times though, when all you really want to do is throwdown and all you really need is a soundtrack to some wanton (and hopefully largely incidental) lounge room destruction? In that case, Canada’s Get the Shot have got you covered.
Imagine, if you will, Comeback Kid’s Die Knowing (2014)—an already fairly ferocious hardcore record in its own right—rammed full of all of the nastiest thrash riffs to be found north of the border, and you should have a pretty solid idea of what Get the Shot are doing on Infinite Punishment. The Quebeckers have been rattling around the Canadian hardcore scene for some time now, having put out two previous records in 2012’s Perdition and 2014’s noticeably harder-hitting No Peace In Hell. Continuing in this vein, Infinite Punishment signals a distinctively metal turn for the band, which has the band delivering not only the best album of their short-lived career, but also one of the best metallic hardcore records in years.
That’s not to say Get the Shot still aren’t very much a hardcore band at heart. Hell, the record opens with a mosh call of all things, and the core of their sound continues to built around a seemingly endless succession of gang chants and two-step beats. However, it’s perhaps more accurate to describe them as a “crossover” act at this point. “Evil Rites” is a full-on, deathed-out, almost grindcore number, that offers its only respite in the brief Elvis Presley (I think) snippet it gives way to at its conclusion; which also somehow makes perfect sense. The album also happens to have been produced by Cryptopsy guitarist Chris(tian) Donaldson—cementing its connection to Canadian extreme metal royalty. Infinite Punishment is unrelenting in its metallic approach, delivering exactly what its title promises.
Yet, his isn’t to say Infinite Punishment is bereft of surprise or variation. “Den of Torments” closes the record in an unprecedentedly sludgy manner, sounding like either Crowbar or Kingdom of Sorrow being fronted by the late David Gold from Woods of Ypres (another seemingly incidental Canadian point of reference). Nevertheless, it’s the unabashedly hardcore number “Blackened Sun,” featuring Stick To Your Guns’ Jesse Barnett, that proves to be Infinite Punishment’s strongest number. The interplay between Barnett’s deeper, hardcore bark and, and GtS vocalist, J–P Legacé’s high-pitched yelp is surprisingly versatile, and the track ends with a metalcore breakdown potent enough to make Hatebreed blush.
Despite what their awkward “verb the noun” monikier (which comes from the title of an Attitude song BTW) might suggest, Get the Shot are one of the most savagely aggressive acts to emerge from the hardcore scene in some time, and Infinite Punishment is the best metallic hardcore album I’ve personally heard for longer than I can remember. If things hardcore, beatdowns and/or thrash metal have ever tickled your fancy, you need to get this album into your life at the earliest opportunity.