Review Summary: Rekindled My Hope In The Genre
"The Hope We Forgot Exists" is the second release from Salem New Hampshire metalcore act And Then There Were None. Now before we proceed any further I'll come right out and say it, yes, And Then There Were None (who shall now be referred to as ATTWN) is a christian metalcore band. I know, I know, its been done before, probably more times than anyone can count, and badly at that. But ATTWN isn't another Underoath clone waiting to hit it big.
Do you like screaming AND singing in your music? Do you enjoy brutal breakdowns, and love two-stepping more than a fat kid loves cake? If you answered yes to both questions then look no further, this is the band for you. ATTWN utilizes a tried and true formula, yet manages to create a sound that oddly is neither stolen or stale.
With a standard yet solid guitar effort ATTWN drives their rather short songs forward, forsaking longer song lengths for more streamlined efforts, cutting the fat essentially. The bass is slightly more audible than on most modern metal efforts, but mostly serves to compliment the guitar efforts while the guitarist is busy sneaking in guitar solos that can almost gone unnoticed, not for lack of originality, but because they meld seamlessly with the rest of the music. The drums pound away behind the layer of guitars and vocals, providing a constant and inescapable beat which begs, nay demands, two-stepping. The vocals, both clean and harsh, have surprisingly well audible syllables, that is to say, you can actually understand the words for once.
Which brings us to a point we reach with every christian metalcore band, the lyrics. I'll be the first to admit the lyrics are the stereotypical, "we love God" and "rise above the adversity" dribble of the genre but the true talent is in the delivery. When vocalist Matt Rhodes screams "how can you try to justify a life that has no meaning?" you had damn well answer his question. The clean vocals, as always, come in just in time for a super-catchy chorus we can all bounce along to before being thrust back into the breakdowns, but is that such a bad thing? There was a reason metalcore became popular in the first place, believe it or not it's because not all metalcore bands suck.
The only flaws of the album are its rather short running length, just a hair over 20 minutes, and a rather low production quality. But if the only place you have to record is a basement then make the best of it, ATTWN surely did. And sure, this isn't an almighty creative powerhouse of an album, but how often does that actually happen? ATTWN knows what genre they like and they play their hearts out, they don't need to cross musical boundaries or create a groundbreaking masterpiece just to be good, they made a solid effort that is good at what it is, metalcore at it's finest.
Ultimately "The Hope We Forgot Exists" provides a solid and rather enjoyable listen. While lacking in length and originality the band compensates through energy and solid song writing. It probably won't convert anyone to the genre, but if you enjoy this type of music and tire of recycled mallcore bands then look no further.
Reason To Believe