Review Summary: As furious as furious gets.
Hopesfall during this recording are:
Doug Venable- Vocals
Ryan Parrish- Guitar/Backing Vocals
Joshua Brigham- Guitar
Chris Kincaid- Bass/Backing Vocals
Adam Morgan- Drums
Hopesfall in 2001 and 2002 released two special things to the world of metalcore, No Wings To Speak Of
and The Satellite Years
, an ep and an lp that crossed heavy melodic hardcore/metalcore with ambient sections creating a sound that was for the most part, unheard of in music. Hopesfall later released A-Types
, an album in which Jay dropped a lot of his screaming for singing instead, and to quite a few people's surprises, it worked out pretty well. After the release of their album Magnetic North
, the band broke up in early 2008.
I'm always curious on how the band sounded in the beginning. Has the band made a natural progression from earlier releases, or do they sound exactly the same, playing it safe and seem to be scared to progress? Hopesfall seemed to have progressed a lot. Back when they started in 1998, they started out as a Christian hardcore band. Their first release, The Frailty of Words
, has been long out of print, and is not even acknowledged by the band anymore. This album has two big things about Hopesfall though, it's their longest release, and it also includes their longest song, the 7 and a half minute long "The Broken Heart of a Traitor."
Even as a Christian band, the lyrics aren't overly preachy, but still can be at times. Even though the word God (and other variations such as You're and His) are in the lyrics, He's only mentioned in two songs ("From Your Hands" and "Comfort") and those songs are far from preaching the word of God. The lyrics of those two songs more deal with then lead singer, Doug's, questions of God's existence and how people misinterpret the word of God for their own will.
The instruments all have their chances to shine on this album. The guitar playing is absolutely superb throughout, the bass isn't drowned out by the wall of guitars, and the bass also shines on the title track/instrumental "The Frailty of Words." The drumming is fairly good and consistent throughout and has a really nice fill at the end of the other instrumental "Lament." Lead singer Doug's screams are absolutely furious and show signs of beaten emotion and inexplicable rage, wanting to tear down all those that are in his path. There also some really nice high screams/shrieks throughout the album, but since there is two backing vocalists, I can't tell who does what.
Hopesfall has always been a band that experimented with ambient sound sections, and this album is no different. Midway through first song, "Shines Through" is a pretty nice slower section with mostly singing vocals and undistorted guitars in a mostly heavy song. They also throw in two instruments, "Lament" and "The Frailty of Words," which create beautiful ambient soundscapes that represent a calm before the stomping storm. The flow of these tracks are also very well put together, and no song sounds out of place.
The last song on the whole album, "The Broken Heart of a Traitor," is not only Hopesfall's longest song, but also one of their best. The lyrics, seeming to show a man who has done wrong in the past, and tries to undo those wrongs by doing things that seem right to him, but in the end, still hurts himself and the ones he loves. The song spans into what we would see on later releases, with heavy hitting parts of pure frustration in chaos, into ambient sections of sorrow and despair. Everyone on this track is at the top of their game and produces one of the best tracks I have ever heard in my life. It is truly crushing, depressing, and moving.
To be honest, I cannot see for the life of me why Hopesfall would discredit this release at all. Maybe it's because they're ashamed of God being thrown around a few times, because that's the only fault of this record really, is that it can get a wee bit preachy at times. Other than that, everything that would be heard on the next two Hopesfall releases, "No Wings to Speak Of" and "The Satellite Years" can be heard on here, in all of it's glory.
though the wings of a dove have wiped the tears from my eyes, this tounge has fanned the flames of unforgiveness.
but love suffers long and rejoices in truth...
and this imperfect creation is shortcoming,
but striving none the less for that which is eternal.
The Broken Heart of a Traitor
From Your Hands