Left Cold is a young but already pretty experienced hardcore outfit from southern Finland. Before this 7" they've released a demo cd-r in 2009 and a tape called "Back From the Ashes" in 2010. Their line-up has changed between each release. After the demo they switched drummers and after the tape they got a second guitarist. The band's progress and development of style can clearly be heard between their releases. Symptoms of Our Time is definately an improvement from the already promising "Back From the Ashes" tape.
This EP has four songs of metallic hardcore punk, simply numbered I-IV. Song lengths vary from three minutes to just over one and a half minute. Left Cold sounds like a hardcore band but they've included a huge amount of different metal influences on this record. The songs go through a lot of tempo changes, alternating from ground stomping to headbanging. The songs maintain a lot of energy throughout the record, while forcing their way into your brain with catchy riffs and vocal deliveries. The lyrics are one of the strongest aspects of this EP, dealing with existential struggle, social pressures and other symptoms of our time (a-ha!).
Compared to the damp soundscape of their earlier tape, Symptoms of Our Time is really really really well produced, and the songs sound really well thought out. Musicwise everything just comes together on this EP.
The cover art is a collage-esque drawing of all kinds of negative aspects of the modern world. It's a cool drawing and all, but it's not all that fitting with the rest of the release. This EP also includes a lyric sheet, download code and an insert with a picture of the band.
I try not to sound too excited when writing a review but this is one of the best finnish hardcore records I've heard in a while. The best thing about it is that it sounds like Left Cold more than anything else.
Recommended for all friends of hardcore.