Sure the bands name, cover art and menacing song titles could lead someone to believe that The Banner are just another metalcore band with a Danzig hard-on. I mean hell, they do hail from Jersey. But as with their last effort, this is not the case as this quintet comb the gutters of urban despair for fuel and fodder and return with a seething vitriolic listening experience hellbent from years of social damage.
You know things are different when the album starts off with what sounds like a bunch of heroin-addled street kids playing along to Johnny Cash. From there on in the depravity and darkness spread throughout track after track of primal punk/hardcore with gritty metal overtones. It's entirely abrasive and played with such singular conviction and focus that there actually isn't a gang shout at the end of every fucking verse.
This defiance of predictability is perhaps The Banner's most endearing strength. Not to say they are out there breaking boundaries and forging a brand new world; as a bridge between Cursed and Black Cross would be a fitting place for the group to squat under. But with surging raw emotion, continued frenzied intensity and an animalistic instinct to repeatedly lunge for the listeners throat; "Frailty" is a worthy black flag to fly against nearly any darkened skyline.
(3.5 / 5)