HGR CD Review: It Is Written

IT IS WRITTEN – IT IS WRITTEN (no label) Since 2007, State College’s It Is Written has been forging their no-nonsense brand of hardcore-laced heavy metal across the state’s stages. On their ten-song, self-titled CD, It Is Written – lead vocalist/guitarist Ken Hawkins, bassist/singer Bob Krebs and drummer/singer Darl Johnstonbaugh – merge fierce and terse heavy metal tenacity with progressive-leaning and dynamic song arrangements, resulting in an intense sound positioned comfortably between Pantera and Lamb Of God. It Is Written’s words are topical and observational about the current path of humanity and the world. Life, death and the hereafter guide the themes of tracks like the escalating crasher “Bed of Misery” and “Sworn Judgment.” Militaristic minds and global conflict concern the group on brash numbers like “War for Years” and “Lambs to the Slaughter.” It Is Written explores a murderous dream on “Homicidal By Sunrise,” and ponders the symbolism of the witchhunt on the dark disc-closer “Burn the Witch.” It Is Written goes for broke and their aggression keeps things constantly exciting. Hawkins’ Phil Anselmo-informed feral howl is front and center in the mix; although fierce and over-the-top, his sense of melody guides each track and provides cohesion through the disc’s course. The group does an effective job generating the metal maelstrom as a trio; some of the songs could benefit from a thicker mix. But in all, It Is Written convincingly shows their teeth on their debut, and their uncompromising brand of thrashy metal shows that this band is moshpit-ready and capable. (The CD can be obtained through the group’s Reverbnation website, http://www.reverbnation.com/itiswrittenstatecollege.)