On September 15th, Tucson, Arizona’s own Lethal Injektion released “Judgement Night” via Rufflife Recordz. Rufflife Recordz has definitely found the diamond in the rough with Lethal Injektion.
Lethal Injektion has been making waves in the underground scene with having frontman Jacob Ryan aka The Raskal fronting this band. With his hip-hop moniker, Jacob Ryan has won the West Coast Artist Of The Year award at The Underground Awards in 2015. As if having Jacob Ryan wasn’t enough, Jonathan Russell of Stands With Fists adds an additional dynamic to the band. Usually I find having two frontmen to be a bit of overkill, but when its done well, it adds a whole new dimension to the music, and Ryan and Russell both accomplish that. Jesse Espich and Lawrence McIntyre add the prowess in the guitar tandem, while Luis Rodriguez on bass and James Ringstrom on drums offers a rhythm section that is tightly fit like a fresh pair of skinny jeans.
“Judgement Night” starts off with an all out sonic assault with a track that is so good that the listener literally has to force themselves to get to the next track in the album with “Blinding Light”. The tradeoff between the rapcore vocals of Jacob Ryan and the shrilling high pitched vocals of Jonathan Russell are a healthy balance. My only issue with the track is that I was really getting into the guitar solo, and I felt like it cut off too early, however, the powerful chorus and arrangement in the outro allows the listener to take in what they were beholding in this song. It is a travesty that “Blinding Light” isn’t one of the top tracks in mainstream rock in the United States. Here is the music video to that song below.
Besides the serious songs, there are tracks that are anthem and full of moxie and balls of steel in tracks such as “The Crossover”, which features MC Magic, who flows extremely well in the track and “Come & Get It”, which is a call to arms to get to the top of the rapcore game. “Roll Call” has an old-school hip-hop feel mixed with rapcore elements and the lyrical wordplay is just awesome with that old-school flavor.
The music is unbelievably tight. “No Turning Back” has intense guitar solos and soaring choruses. I am astounded at how diverse this band really is. They can go from hardcore metal one song, to rapcore the next, and have songs that will cross genres, the bassline in “Memories Of You” is incredibly thick and groove-oriented. The piano intro to “Benjamin Buttons” as it kicks into the lyrical flow and hardcore elements gives the listener something to remember them by. There is literally no filler in this album.
The strength of this band is the collaborations that they did with the likes of Matt Good, Futuristic, Bubba Sparxxx, Jahred of Hed P.E., and Stevie Stone. The artists that collaborated threw down with Lethal Injektion and really added another layer to this band. I can tell that Lethal Injektion was selective with the artists that they chose, as they went with Hed P.E. for “The Awakening” for a more political vibe to the album, and with Futuristic and Stevie Stone to bring about that “about the benjamins” type of anthem, which adds to the swagger of Lethal Injektion.
There are more layers to unpack than ogres and onions(apologize for the Shrek reference). Lethal Injektion has the crossover appeal to make rapcore a relevant genre again, well done by this band as they get a 8 out 10 rating on this album.
“Judgement Night” by Lethal Injektion track listing:
- Blinding Light
- Come & Get It
- Stronger featuring Matt Good and Eloni Yawn
- The Crossover featuring MC Magic
- No Turning Back
- Memories Of You
- Roll Call
- Lethal Assassins
- Judgment Night featuring Stacc Styles
- The Awakening featuring Jahred of Hed P.E.
- Art Of War featuring Madchild, Bubba Sparxxx, and Crypt
- Rufflife Anthem featuring Kozme
- Let’z Ride
- Benjamin Buttons featuring Futuristic and Stevie Stone
- Benjamin Buttons
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On Saturday, January 20th, Lethal Injektion will be hosting “Sex, Money, Power Fest 3” at Club XS in Tucson, Arizona. For tickets and further information, click here.
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