When this arrived in the MV inbox, it set me thinking. Apart from Moonspell, I’ll be totally honest, I couldn’t really think of many Portuguese metal bands. There’s probably loads, and its my own lack of knowledge, but in fairness even Push! Who are on their third record, are a new name to me.

But it seems as though with “Dark Dive” that the five piece are ready to step it up a notch or two.

It’s not that the sound is new. Think Madball playing some early thrash with Hatebreed joining them for added anger, but rather that this half an hour of basic beatdown is as unpretentious as music ever gets.

It’s right there from the start in fairness. After an intro that sounds appropriately menacing, it explodes with “Free At Last”. Those three words are roared, with total conviction and we are off and running.

“Denial And Envy”, actually, is everything thrash used to be, but seldom is anymore, while the title track is a study in riffs.

The band are set to announce their first proper Euro Tour soon. I am willing to bet that the circle pits are vicious. There’s a bass breakdown in the title track, accompanied by the words “now that my hope has gone,” that almost revels in the nihilism.

“Pitfall” – so muscular you could probably use it as Anthony Joshua’s next sparring partner, has a real gang mentality, while there is something lurking in the shadows of “With Love” that suggests you don’t actually want to look to hard at what lies beneath – but you just can’t resist.

Like all these types of bands from Terror, to Sick Of It All, it lives and dies by its anger, but Push! Have the riffs too, the lead guitars slash when they need to, like early Megadeth, but they’ve got their own empowerment song -and all these bands need an empowerment song, don’t they? “Cuffed To Yourself” its fair to say, doesn’t believe the meek shouldn’t inherit the earth. Rather it thinks you have the power to do whatever you like.

“Ground Floor” is proper, unreconstructed bile and “Keep Silent” does anything but. It – like the rest of the record – shouts its intentions to do something real, lasting. And violent. “I keep silent and let the world speak for itself….” It sounds like a real threat to the planet. As does, in truth “Procrastinate”. Push!, I will bet, are never unsure, they never weigh things up and are instead making things happen.

It’s all about context, I guess. “Would you like some Portuguese Hardcore?” It’s like a question on one of those “Never Have I Ever” type games people play and you’re never quite sure whether they want the truth or not. In this case though this is hardcore that you don’t have to be embarrassed that you enjoyed.

Dive in.

Rating 8/10

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