Review Summary: Hopesfall's No Wings to Speak Of is not only the band's masterwork, but the defining album of the Melodic Metalcore scene.
Emotion. The word alone is subject to many meanings and connotations. To some it is a term used to describe everything from how they live their life to the music on their stereos written by androgynous teenagers. To others it is a sense of being. Something you feel when triggered at just the right moment and at just the right time. Something that is indescribable but yearns to be described. Something that when channeled, has the power to move you in just the right way that it becomes forever etched in who you are.
Even though the album begins with a blast of dissonance, it is not long before you hear the signature spacey-ness that makes up much of Hopesfall's sound. Reverb soaked leads spiderweb their way through even the heaviest of Doug Venable's screams and provide an uplifting feeling of hope in the music. It is never complex or over the top, just simple leads and octaves, but delivered in just the right way to perfectly accent the rest of the instruments.
The cornerstone of the album is the third track, The End of an Era. The near seven minute long track begins with atmospheric guitar over building drums before it breaks into the violence of the verse. It soon subsides into an ocean of clean guitar and feedback before building slowly back to crescendo with clean vocals and octaves. This one track, to me at least, defines not only Hopesfall, but is the crowning achievement of the Melodic Metalcore scene.
No Wings To Speak Of is more than just a starting point for one of the Hardcore (and eventually Post-Hardcore) Scene's most innovative bands, it is a recording that defines a genre. No Wings to Speak Of is a recording so full of emotion and power that embeds itself deep in your heart and becomes a part of you.