Release DetailsLABEL Five Point Records
RELEASED ON 9/20/2004
The Hostage Heart
Where There Is Despair, Hope
posted on 11/2004 By:
Many of you who are familiar with Central Massachusetts' metal scene can probably already guess what to expect from the area's latest export, The Hostage Heart. For those of you who aren't, I'll cut right to the chase. In the broadest of terms, it's metalcore: technical, tight, well produced and unrelenting. Where There Is Despair, Hope, which runs just short of 20 minutes, is compact fix of aggression that will no doubt appeal to fans of bands like The Red Chord, Deadwater Drowning, and Converge.
From the intro of "My Lips Pressed To The Cup Of Wrath," one thing is blatantly apparent; this band knows how to get to the point. Those of you feeling blue-balled by the overtly intellectual technicality of recent releases by bands like Ion Dissonance, Comity or The End need not fear. For while the musicianship on-display is here is certainly above board, the band knows when to confuse and when to kill. Fortunately, they spend a majority of this six song EP doing the latter. Assisted by an immense production courtesy of Ken Susi (Unearth), the songs are afforded a level of clarity that allows the listener to become fully immersed rather than forcing them to struggle through an annoying wall of noise. Vocalist Chris Diamantis employs breathless screams and barks that are well suited to the hardcore derived grooves of the rhythm section.
The highlight of the EP is its most diversely arranged track, "Destroy, Rebuild, Destroy." Blasting out of the gate with technical flare a la The Dillinger Escape Plan, the song builds to a soaring melodic section that offers the single respite from the rest of Despair's pervasive heaviness. It's tastefully executed, and doesn't come off as an overly sappy or forced attempt to show the band's sensitive side. Actually, judging from the bulk of the material on display here, I don't think this band has a sensitive side.
I don't really see THH turning the world on its head, or winning over too many people turned off by the -core suffix. But, for such a young band, there's a level of maturity on display that is very promising. I encourage them to keep doing what they are doing as there is definitely a burgeoning market for this type of music. A few years from now I can see this band as one of the forerunners of the genre. Anyone who fancies the bands mentioned in the review would be well served by checking out The Hostage Heart.
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