Madball are about to set it off yet again. The New York hardcore institution will release their new album, 'Empire,' via Good Fight Music in either late September or early October, so 'hawdcaw' kids will have an excellent soundtrack for going back to school. The band is currently wrapping the recording process and will head to Mana Studios in Florida to record with Hate Eternal's Erik Rutan in July.

Vocalist Freddy Cricien said, in a statement, that the band "has come a long way from being street kids to becoming very established in our genre, and even beyond the music. We're finally at a point in our life where we're taking control of our things, whereas before we didn't have control of some things or didn't choose to have control. We have the feeling that we've built a little empire for ourselves with our band, brand, and different endeavors."

Cricien continued, "There are plenty of awesome bands that have come out of the city. Agnostic Front are the godfathers of New York hardcore, Sick of It All are one of the undisputed champs of the scene ... we were always known as more of the bad guys, but now people are calling us the kings. It's not a title we gave ourselves, and it's not that we call ourselves that, but it's just a term of endearment and respect that people use and it plays into the name 'Empire.'"

Madball are stepping outside of their comfort zone working with Rutan, known for producing death metal acts like Misery Index and Goatwhore. It's also a new frontier, so to speak, for the producer, so both parties should benefit from working with one another, as will fans hoping the new Madball songs will reach out of their speakers and rip their endocrine system out of their bodies.

"I think [having Eric] is a good dynamic," Cricien said. "We did the last couple records with a different producer, he was busy, so we were looking for an alternative and his name was suggested. I got to talking to him, and I found out he has a hardcore background, and he's a big fan of ours. I was really sold at that point, because although he does a lot of death metal, he's really eager to approach this in a certain way."

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