Monday 27 November 2017


GenresPunk / Rock / Hardcore / Post Hardcore / Emo / Screamo / Skramz Alternative
Related artists?.
CountryColumbus, Ohio U.S.A.
Years Active2010-present
Song: "Axiom"
Album: "Difficulty in Transitions"
Year: 2017
For fans ofSecret Arms, Neev, The Fall Of TroyVauxCarved UpBelovedCampaign CommitteeFear Before The March Of Flames, PastDead PoeticElle, Book Of Dead Names, Weak Wrists, (Lone) Wolf And Cub, United Nations, Crestfallen, The Jonbenét, Wolf Teeth, Moneen, WristMeetRazor, Young Mountain, Supine, Russian Circles, Mares Of Thrace and Beau Navire aka PROPER SCREAMO.
Label(s): Self Released / Tightwolf Records / Suspended Soul
This post's artist is from the November 2017 Mix. This is track #6.
You can download: the November 2017 Mix#11 right here or get the new December 2017 Mix#12 here.

Ever heard of a two-piece that somehow sounds like Moneen and Crestfallen mixed into one? Well, you have now. These writing machines have released a ton of EPs and two LPs in just seven years using a myriad of influences, creating a very unique conglomeration of punk, hardcore, screamo, metalcore and even a bit of skate/pop-punk. With tracks generally ranging from three to five minutes, the evolution of PRIZE THE DOUBT has seen them teeter with two styles from 2010 until 2012, before nestling snugly into their current incarnation of aggressive and technical music inspired by The Fall Of Troy but sounding more like Secret Arms than anything else.

The PRIZE THE DOUBT debut EP was released in 2010 and titled 'This Will Die Unrecognized'. It dips between singing/post-hardcore and then screamo/metalcore territory, generally in the same song, and numerous times per track. The transition from singing to screaming at one minute of "Forget and Forget Again" is awesome, especially considering both members are going all out for it. "Innocent Subjects" is a great song that's heavy on the (good) singing and "We are Too Separate" is where the Fall Of Troy influence becomes the most apparent with both the clean singing and pterodactyl shrieks. "The Daily News is Dead" and "The Purity of Conformity" are quite poppy and seem quite out of place after three pretty killer tunes. Closer "October 17th" is an instrumental jam with the climax coming a minute before its 5:27 run time.

Their 2011 followup titled 'Rot Fun Beg' is an album continually plagued by a split personality that doesn't always jive. Although "Watchward" has some slightly subdued bits, the song hits full force and one would hope a shift in focused, heavier material in general. And those vocals, wowza. Very Crestfallen and Fall Of Troy. Next is "A Friend of Mime", a poppier number not unlike Beloved but with way more parts, "191 Young" contains some questionable vocals in the first minute and a half but once the screaming comes in they two interact well together, but something here seems forced. "Cyber Punk" continues the seemingly impractical balancing act between melodic and fierce, while "Useless Eaters" is the strongest track here and throws in a lot of dual screaming, which I'm a sucker for. Again, the closer is a date, this time the day after from the previous EP, thus titled "October 18th". It, unsurprisingly, is an instrumental jam that showcases some pretty awesome drum work.

'The Empirical EP' was next, released in 2012. For the most part, it finally shed the excess soft stuff and focused on the heavy shit, making it the first release I found myself stoked on at almost the entire way through its six songs. Opener ''Andromeda" is nothing but screamy hardcore in the vein of Fear Before The March Of Flames and Campaign Committee, as it seems that the band is continuing the "hey, let's put our really good, heavy track at the start". This seems less likely after jamming "Ancient Infections", the dark and brooding second track, as the first minute and a half creates a nice atmosphere and build that gets blown to bits shortly thereafter. "Compass Rose" begins spastic and relentless, further showcasing their Fall Of Troy influence but making it even heavier and has some killer parts and breakdowns from 1:30 onward as well as close which is reminiscent of Mares Of Thrace. The always present instrumental jam appears not at the end, as per prior releases, but as track four and is titled, yep, you guessed it, "October 19th". This one is the best yet, as it is prodigious from the get-go and includes some massive riffs after from about one to two minutes and reminds me a lot of what Carved Up does with their instrumental songs. "Introverted" toys with the idea of being instrumental before finally including some manic screaming and speedy instrumentals from about 1:40 plus while closer "Clenchers & Grinders" slows things down a tad but doesn't let up on the intensity.

'New Aesthetic'. Yes. Goddammit, yes. This is what I was waiting for. Embracing their screamo and hardcore sound, they drop 10 songs of aggressive, manic and abrasive music in just over 30 minutes, substantially shedding their poppier side and longer songs. Opener "Murder of Crows" is quite possibly the first PRIZE THE DOUBT song to clock in at under two minutes, exposing its teeth but 25 seconds in with vicious screaming and frantic hardcore. "Dead End Kid" and "Social Holocaust" only just make it to two minutes and both fall into the category of Fall Of Troy screamy hardcore heaven, while "Mirror of the Wicked" is 5:14 of swelling, disjointed hardcore...or is this all screamo? Whatever it is, it's fucking awesome. "Rue", "Chasing Echoes", "Pirate" and "Trope" are all decent, while "Vincent" is a much slower jam (for the first half, at least) and relies on some excellent, driving bass lines. There's also the seemingly out of place is "Regard", a three-minute stab at an acoustic guitar, violins and soft, subdued singing bordering on Anthony Green. Oh, and look at that - they dropped the instrumental "October" songs. I liked them and all but I think leaving it out shows the maturation and acceptance of their darker, more intense and awesome side.

This was the first thing I ever heard by PRIZE THE DOUBT, as Michael Douglas sent it to me for review a few years back. With only two songs I remembered liking it but wanting to wait for their next release, so I kind of passed over the 'Valence split' 7" until now. Fuckin'...oops. It opens with "Ragnarok", the heaviest and darkest song the band has ever encapsulated in time. Seriously, the vocals and instrumentals are fucking nuts here and I would almost call this emo-violence/black metal. "Assayer" is a fast song that isn't as crazy as its predecessor but it's great to rock out to.

'Difficulty in Transitions' is the newest offering by the Ohio duo, weaving 11 songs swelling, shifting and screamy hardcore. I think PRIZE THE DOUBT have finally pulled away from sounding like Fall Of Troy with this fantastic, 2017 full length release. "Sinking Ship" is an angular and heaving opener, clocking in at 5:12, it wanders around new territory for the band, finding a dark and subterranean niche without extending into batshit crazy nor melodic territory. It's truly a beautiful yet haunting number. "Carving Caves" is a really cool, disjointed and piercing track with whirling, spacey guitars (not unlike early Russian Circles) mixed with half yelled/half screamed vocals. At 2:08 the songs shifts to a precisely honed attack before settling back into those driving rhythms. "Arrows" is bass heavy that a synth? Pretty cool but overall a mildly awkward track (at least until the halfway point). "Axiom", on the other hand, is an awesome song. The thing is like a screamy merry-go-round of amazingness, with little-to-no slowdowns and lots of interesting instrumental work. I would go as far as saying it's got some Blood Brothers going on, as well. "Edgar" serves as the album's interlude, as it is 1:56 of distant guitars and ethereal singing and is quite lovely. "More Than You" dips back into flourishes of emo (think House Olympics), while "Versions" does the same over a much longer stretch, as the song brings the LP to a close over the course of nearly 10 minutes. The other songs I didn't touch on, "Death and Dignity", "Poisonous Comedy", "Share Misery" and "Conscious Volition", are all straight up bangers.

Wow, that was a pretty big review. So, what's next for PRIZE THE DOUBT? I dunno, but I bet it's gonna be sick!



2010 - This Will Die Unrecognized EP (stream/download here)

2011 - Rot Fun Beg EP (stream/download here)

2012 - The Empirical EP (stream/donate/download here)

2014 - New Aesthetic LP (stream/donate/download here)

2015 - Valence aka Vita Bassa split 7"EP (stream/donate/download here)

2017 - Difficulty in Transitions LP (stream/donate/download here)


(2017) PRIZE THE DOUBT - "Axiom" (from 'Difficulty in Transitions')

(2017) PRIZE THE DOUBT - "Carving Caves" (from 'Difficulty in Transitions')

(2017) PRIZE THE DOUBT - "Poisonous Comedy" (from 'Difficulty in Transitions')

(2015) PRIZE THE DOUBT - "Ragnarok" (from 'Vita Bassa' split)

(2014) PRIZE THE DOUBT - "Dead End Kid" (from 'New Aesthetic')

(2014) PRIZE THE DOUBT - "Mirror of the Wicked" (from 'New Aesthetic')

(2014) PRIZE THE DOUBT - "Vincent" (from 'New Aesthetic')

(2012) PRIZE THE DOUBT - "Compass Rose" (from 'The Empirical EP')

(2012) PRIZE THE DOUBT - "Andromeda" (from 'The Empirical EP')

(2011) PRIZE THE DOUBT - "Watchword" (from 'Rot Fun Beg')

(2010) PRIZE THE DOUBT - "Forget and Forget Again" (from 'This Will Die Unrecognized')


PRIZE THE DOUBT additional links


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