Release DetailsLABEL Harvest Earth Records
RELEASED ON 2/18/2006
The Hope Of Change
posted on 3/2006 By:
Unlike most, I seem resistant to metalcore’s saturation factor, but recently I’ll admit to thinking it’s death knell may be near. However, along comes the new album from Dead to Fall, the Serapis debut and this monster of a record.
Granted, Arizona’s The Hope of Change aren’t bringing anything remotely new to the metalcore fray, but do they do it damn well! To me (and those of you with more of a metalcore ear), The Hope of Change are mixing the melody and gallop of Unearth along with the massive brute force breakdowns of Through the Eyes of The Dead, The Classic Struggle or The Acacia Strain. Throw in a few really well done clean vocal harmonies, and you have a metalcore record that stands head and shoulders above the masses.
While most albums of this type, notably on The Classic Struggle’s Feel Like Hell, simply revolve around the breakdowns, sandwiched between a few half hearted Euro-core melodies, The Hope of Change actually flesh out their harmonious side rather well, making for a nice mix of both within songs. When all is said and done this thing actually impressed me more and is getting far more playtime than the likes of The Oncoming Storm, Shadows Are Security, Bloodlust and even Feel Like Hell, itself one of my favorite metalcore records of last year.
Basically, every track contains some sort of rumbling open note breakdown, but they all differ just enough to be unique. Starting with “Introduction-Epic” and on through impressive bowel shakers like “Silent Scope”, “Whoever Said Ignorance is Bliss Has Obviously Never Met You”, “Scene But Not Heard”, “3501" and ending with succinct closer “Knuckle Puck (Drop it Like it’s Hot)", Hourglass delivers the heavy in spades. Truth be told I have not had my head bob this hard since Feel Like Hell or even Built Upon Frustration's Resurrection. But the riffs that surround the breakdowns, usually reserved for the album's weaker moments are actually pretty good too: “After All this Time”, “Time Crisis” and “Suicidal Fall” though all still having stout breakdowns, have some really nice dual melodies that seem more than piecemeal. And speaking of piecemeal, while the usual hardcore scream and death metal growl is the cliched vocal delivery, the rare but clever use of clean vocals on “3501" and the emotive “Suicidal Fall” are superbly utilized and not just a panty loosening gimmick. The production is stout, highlighting the heavy and letting the melodies breath, but it's not forced or full of those exaggerated bass kick ins.
I know most of you by now take my (and any) metalcore reviews with a grain of jaded salt, but for the few of you that value my opinion and enjoy metalcore, this is a must have. It does everything right and doesn’t seem too pretentious, artsy or emo, neither does it seem to care about image.
Go forth and mosh.
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