Review: The Amsterdam Red Light District – Sapere Aude

The Amsterdam Red Light District - Sapere AudeOn the back of 2014’s ‘Gone For A While’, Lyon quartet The Amsterdam Red Light District were considered champions of France’s underground melodic hardcore/post-hardcore scene. With comparisons to While She Sleeps, Stray From The Path and Letlive, and shows alongside Refused and Comeback Kid, TARLD sure seem to be heading in the right direction. They’ve now returned with a third full-length, ‘Sapere Aude’, as they look to keep their momentum going.

The title literally translates as “dare to know/think for yourself”, a philosophical theme which is explored in a number of tracks on the album. Most notably ‘Need’ and ‘Evil Stakeholders’, which question those in control of society, and our obsession with materialism and mass marketing. The former features some red-hot pounding, machine gun drums while the latter has a chorus and chord structure which hints at more traditional punk influences. Overall though, the album is thirty-five minutes of pit ready anthems and pure old school hardcore, dipping into different genres and styles with slick self-confidence and virtually no let up. It’s relentless and brutal, with vocalist Elio Sxone switching between screams and singing with professional ease, borrowing from classic rock, metal and punk alike.

The infectious chorus of ‘Wild Life’ is a highlight, as is the metalcore attitude and swagger of ‘Carry On’, which sounds as though it could have been a lost track from Avenged Sevenfold’s first album. The title track ‘Sapere Aude’ is a natural closer, with its politically charged theme and news sound bites interspersed over thumping cascading drums and ominous sounds loops. It’s experimental and weird, standing apart from the other tracks and showcasing an ability to try new things.

TARLD are a band that have obviously been honing their talent for a good number of years and, as such, their songwriting skill and professionalism shine through. They definitely deserve more recognition than they already have in this country, and who knows, they could be a candidate for your new favourite hardcore band.


‘Sapere Aude’ by The Amsterdam Red Light District is released on 2nd March on Red Light Records.

The Amsterdam Red Light District links: Facebook|Twitter|Instagram

Words by Bec Simpson (@swallowmyeyes)


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