The Judas Factor – Kiss Suicide EP

The Judas Factor
Kiss Suicide EP

The Judas Factor is all about screamo. This album is a blast of energy and emotion, tearing your ears out as the band tears their heart out. This six-song EP is the follow-up to the band’s first full-length, and it shows the direction the band is heading, which is frenzied, aggressive hardcore with lyrics that are both personal and heavy. Think perhaps Assfactor 4 or Torches to Rome, with a bit more personal lyrics thrown in. There’s even a bit of an Ink & Dagger feel in the darkness this band manages to portray.
The title track starts off with a blistering attack of angry guitars, heavy bass lines, and screaming lyrics, crazy and frantic. But I love when it slows down in the middle, with low bass and deep, spoken lyrics, then building back up into some excellent scream-core. “If I die a broken promise, will I be the next heart you buy?” This is definitely the best track here, and it makes me want to thrash! “Safety Net” doesn’t go quite as fast, but the lyrics are still screaming and harsh. This song is driven by a stellar bass-and-guitar line, and there’s some very cool, screeching guitar effects. It slows down in the middle as well, lulling you with some more melodic prettiness before kicking off again. “One Fine Day” is more consistently fast and driving, and the mix of the screamed vocals and the deep, more-spoken-than-sung vocals is a nice touch. I swear the singer is going to rip a lung screaming on “Music Without Person,” one of the harshest tracks that suddenly drops off into some extremely quiet, soft music that’s a little eerie in context. But it leads in nicely to the brutal, bass-heavy “When We Learn to Love Ourselves.” “I’m ugly and awkward. You’re awkward, so beautiful. Some gaps they never, they never close,” they scream out on this track. The music here is not quite so aggressive despite the double-screamed vocals.
The final track, the six-plus-minute “November 20, 1999,” is probably the most unique track on here. It starts off with heavy bass and melodic guitar, the singer speaking in the forefront over this music, similar to Indian Summer. He’s obviously telling a story that’s apparently all about a very deep relationship that ends in tragedy when some people break in with violence. It drops off to nothing more than soft drum beats and a little guitar; there’s even some very cool sampling of soft horns for effect. And then, after some more softly spoken words, it explodes into some driving intensity and aggressiveness. What a powerful, amazing song, and what a perfect way to get this whole story-message across.
This is the kind of music I would have dismissed even a year ago as just too much noise and unnecessary screaming. But I’ve come to appreciate the bands that use screaming and aggressive hardcore to get their point across, while still managing to sound unique. The Judas Factor is one of those crazy hardcore bands that borders on emo-violence, but they keep it tight enough to maintain control in the frenzied blasts of guitar and percussion. And the slower parts, especially most of the last song, is an excellent touch, coupled with the band’s personal and deep lyrics. I’ll be anxiously awaiting the band’s next full-length.