A Hero A Fake
Let Oceans Lie
posted on 2/2010 By:
I’m not entirely sure how the second album from North Carolina’s A Hero A Fake made it into the MetalReview.com review pool. The last time I checked Victory Records were not actively sending out promotional cds (physical or digital) and were content to let kids get their Cds at Hot Topic en masse simply because they were awesome.
Anyhoo, whether an MR.com staffer got caught giving Tony Brummel a handie in a public restroom or some other sordid reason, here we are with the follow up to 2008's Volatile, a record whose PR sucked me in with its NC metalcore heritage and comparisons to Between the Buried and Me. And a record I promptly traded back to a pawn shop for a bag of dog hair and a kit kat.
While AHAF do certainly have a BTBAM tone by way of arpeggios, a mix of stop start, chaotic metal and injections of lighter textures, the band’s backbone is still what I can only term as Victory-core: poppy catchy metalcore with enough edge to get a pit going here and then, but glossed with whiny emo vocals and a commercial appeal to appeal to angry teenage jocks and eye liner wearing hermaphrodites. Even the ambitious but faux experimentation and dreamy/avant-garde moments such as the 6 minute “Dear,” AHAF’s blend of metal is such a collage of everything that’s trendy and popular right now is sickening. And I like metalcore.
And thing is, this group of kids are pretty talented – they can play their instruments, as evidenced by some of the decent but short lived arpeggios/solos (“Swallowed by the Sea”), and at times, when focusing on actual metal riffs they have some relatively adolescent balls, but it's mired so far in masses of standard commercial melodic metalcore and crooning (“Our Summit, This World”, “Elk River Falls”, “Astronomical”, requisite ballad “Images” and pretty much every track).
Maybe I’m getting old, because there was a time when I was all over this stuff, but right now, these bands that try to be brutal and commercial/emo (The Devil Wears Prada are a perfect example) just annoy me. I’d rather tale pure metalcore like KsE or Die Among Heroes (just to name a recent example that’s come to my attention) or over the top deathcore like label mates Carnifex or even (gasp) Annotations of An Autopsy other than this non committal, genre straddling catch-all trends bullshit.
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