How is it that I've managed to miss out on Affiance? This Ohio-based band practically lives in my back yard, Cleveland to be exact, and, from all accounts, has a sizable following. In my defense, I've been known to miss the obvious more then once (There are more stories to that affect then we could ever possible hope to discuss) so I shouldn't allow myself to lose any more sleep then I already do over this one simple mistake. Instead, based on the words of friends & musicians (Who technically are friends as well), I found myself in a state of increased curiosity so I headed to iTunes to download this buzzed about release. This is certainly a intriguing band that is arguably well-deserving of some of that hype. "The Campaign" is the second full-length album from Affiance. In 2007 the band came together and later that same year released a 6-track EP called "Calm Before The Storm". Only three years after forming, Affiance would release "No Secrets Revealed" on Bullet Tooth Records to positive press. With an appearance on the popular game Rock Band ("Call to the Warrior" was released as a downloadable track on the game) it seems as if Affiance should be a bigger name then they are (At least nationally as it seems as if I was one of the few people in Ohio not to know who they were). Either way, the single most important issue at play here is the fact that this new album just slays. Hitting the play button on "The Campaign" is the same as asking a boxer "Can I get punched in the head please?"! On paper it's possibly that the mixture of metalcore and technically thrash doesn't come off as appealing to most people. On tape though it's a whole different experience as these two genres merge together into this riff-happy, juggernaut on a bruiser. With politics and religion being the popular subjects on this 11 track release the band comes out swinging and never lets up.The lyrics seem to be more then just a gimmick though in the hands of lead vocalist Dennis Tvrdik. This music, this full metal punch, is spit out in such a forceful way that you won't find yourself questioning their convictions. This is an intense and intimidating release that is heavy and hard hitting. Featuring appearances by members of August Burns Red, Memphis May Fire and Century, all of which are intense bands in their own right, makes this release all the more empowering. Fans of metalcore will love this one, but I wouldn't be surprised if it also appealed to some thrash fanatics as well.