A Life Once Lost



by labonza01 USER (18 Reviews)
December 4th, 2006 | 21 replies

Release Date: 2005 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Whatever you're into, metalcore or "deathcore" you can find something to like with this violent release from "A Life Once Lost".

Deathcore? It seems that every kind of music has a core at it these days. Popcore, Metalcore, Emocore, and the list goes on and on, but deathcore? Where did that come from? Wherever it was, it is obviously not a peaceful place, as deathcore (or metalcore, or as the band calls it "technical groove metal") band A Life Once Lost has devised an album that can give your younger siblings nightmares for weeks. That's right, Hunter is the perfect album to pop into your stereo whenever your little sister just refuses to leave your room. Of course the album has more use than that, though, it's also a superb metal/deathcore album that might even give fans of the genre a few night terrors themselves. The band members and their duties are as follows:

Robert Meadows - Vocals
Robert Carpenter - Guitar
Douglas Sabolick - Guitar
Nick Frasca - Bass
Justin Graves - Drums

Upon insertion, this album will immediately blast heavy instrumentation and blood-curdling vocals right out of your speakers. Album opener "Rehashed" gets right to the good stuff, wasting no time on a fade in intro, this song begins it's assault on your eardrums with a quick drum fill and then goes to a rather heavy intro, if I don't say so myself. Everything stops for a millisecond and suddenly it all comes back with a new player, some very The Agony Scene style vocals. Sure, you've heard them before, but A Life Once Lost makes no attempt to make themselves accessible to the more melody seeking metal heads, that's right, no clean vocals. This may just drive some people away, but it is also a relative breath of fresh air that could attract some die-hard metalists to the genre. Now, the screaming is top notch, but one problem is that the pitch never really changes. It is really a good thing that this guy has such an excellent death metal shriek, or else the vocals themselves would be enough to induce convulsions. The lyrics, though, are simply amazing. Sure, they have their cliché moments, such as in "Vulture" where you hear the line "I can promise you one thing, I will haunt you until you die" screamed repeatedly. Then, though, you have some unique lyrics, like this one from "Rehashed": "I am the Kamikaze dreamer" or maybe the first words from "Needle Man" where you hear "What happens here stays here, right?" sinisterly screamed at the beginning of the song.

Another problem that isn't really an issue is the guitar work. While each song features great lead and rhythm guitars and several riffs each song, most namely "Rehashed" has the guitarists cycling through each riff several times throughout each song. Thankfully, the guitarists have talent, and therefore each riff, no matter how many times they play it in each song, is able to remain interesting because you notice something new about it each time that you didn't hear before. Each song has a unique riff that is different from each, like the heavy intro and verse riff of "Needle Man", which features a slightly classic metal inspired guitar lick just before the song breaks into it's violent sledge hammer attack of a verse. The guitarists also have the ability to write a tasteful solo every once in a while. "Vulture" features a rather strange solo. At first you think it's going to become a breakdown, but the lead guitar builds speed and it eventually becomes a melodic festival of metallic shredding above a breakdown style rhythm guitar. "Pain and Panic" also has a very superb solo that features an even faster shred-attack than that of "Vulture". The best solo, though is the very dissonant chaos found in the song "Grotesque". Aside from the unique riffs and the great soloing, the guitarists also will punctuate one of their start-stop riffs with a random pinch harmonic. They also go out on a limb and try some fairly ballad like guitar riffs in the song "Hunter". The slow guitars create a contrast to the slow screaming and keep the song kind of interesting, but after a few minutes you have to wonder why you are still listening, as the song starts to get boring after the 2nd verse.

The rhythm section is very tight. Speedy double bass patterns and angry cymbal beatings accent the heavy background set by the rhythm guitar. While there aren't many drum fills or rolls, the drummer manages to keep rhythm keeping a very interesting affair. The bass does little more than build a foundation for the guitars, though, which is truly a pity because a bass solo would really ice the cake. The best song for the rhythm section and the shining moment for the bass is instrumental track "Salai". The guitars build a heavy rhythm from the crashing drums, and about ¾ of the way through, the bass breaks into a small lead section that is a major treat for the ears.

Another excellent eargasm comes in the form of the song structures themselves. Each song is an event of organized chaos that keeps the listener guessing. With the original song structures, each song brings a new surprise. "A Rush and Siege" features a very maniacal song progression with several breakdowns and a few random licks, then a solo, more breakdowns, and a verse that is broken into about 5 pieces. The structures of each song is unique, except for the two songs "I Give In" and "Ghosting" seem to melt into one song because of their similar sounds.

Now, while this might be a core album, I think that everyone should give it a chance, as it sort of breaks the mold of today's metalcore scene while not breaking new ground, if that makes sense. Fans of metalcore might be made a little uncomfortable due to the lack of melodic singing, but they might also find a new favorite band. Check it out, I'm sure you'll like it.

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user ratings (168)

Comments:Add a Comment 
December 4th 2006


Your reviews are improving so much. Just get a track list up there and some album art. (I'll vote once the track list is up)

December 4th 2006


Album Rating: 4.0

yeah, sorry about those not being there, they are now. whoever submitted the album sort of screwed me over because i couldn't add the stuff unless i edited the review.

December 5th 2006


That's how it is with most stuff, but don't worry about it.

December 5th 2006


Album Rating: 3.0

A solid review (B+). Im sure your next review will be even better. I found these guys sounded a little like Lamb of God but they just have these messed up rhythms that I can't get enough of. Vulture and Hunter are definately highlights for me.

Digging: Silencer (SWE) - Death - Pierce Me

December 5th 2006


PS. Have you seen that video on their myspace of their wall of death from ozzfest? I heard someone say they did it at the stop they went to and it was brutal but hot damn...that looked ridiculous.

December 5th 2006


Album Rating: 4.0

i saw it on their dvd that they released with the album as a special edition, it did look ridiculous.

December 5th 2006


Vulture is an awesome song, nice review.

December 19th 2006


Album Rating: 4.0

thanks, i feel good about this

April 12th 2007


Rob looks exactly like Modestyahoo now This Message Edited On 04.12.07

May 20th 2007


Album Rating: 3.0

I think I have some old material by the band floating around somewhere on my computer.

Thoroughly enjoyable as far as I can remember, so I should probably check this out sometime.

May 20th 2007


These guys put on a good show. When I saw them with the Chariot and Norma Jean, they were superb.

May 20th 2007


Yeah I heard these guys, I think vulture is a pretty good song.

August 22nd 2007


I heard one song by these guys on a comp, don't remember the name but it was horribile

August 29th 2007


Album Rating: 3.0

I really enjoys these guys. Some real headbanging tunes. Hunter owns my ears.

Digging: Marie Davidson - Perte d'identité

August 30th 2007


It's aight. They were cool live.

September 17th 2007


Album Rating: 3.5

This album is very impressive, his vocals kill, and the wierdly tyming riffs are clever.

December 12th 2007


Album Rating: 4.0

Love this Album, everything on this CD ties together so well, from the Meshuggah like riffs to the singers frantic screaming, it all just seems to come together in the best way. The breakdown at the end of Pittiless blows was just insane. And the groove like guitar riffs on Vulture was one of the highlights of the Album. One thing that really stood out to me was the guitar solos, I'm not a fan of guitar solos at all, but I loved the solos on this CD, mainly because of the dark and eerie feel to it.

February 10th 2008


Album Rating: 2.0

i guess "deathcore" aint my bag baby

pretty poor for for this particular listener

December 26th 2009


Album Rating: 4.0

I dig this album quite a bit. "Vulture' gets me going every time. However, the Great Artist is where it is at if you want to check these guys out. Good sheeeeiit.

January 11th 2010


Album Rating: 3.5

Great Artist is definitely the way to go with ALOL, but this isn't far behind. Iron Gag was pretty disappointing besides an energetic opening track -- hopefully they recover on the next record. Cool guys too, they shared their Jager with me after a show once.

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