It is hard these days to make a dent in todays post hardcore scene. With shining stars such as Alexisonfire and A Static Lullaby, it seems difficult to fuse hardcore roots with alternative emo music. But in 2003, a small time band from Winston-Salem, North Carolina did the nigh impossible and made a record that not only fuses melody and hardcore, but did it damn well better than nearly every “clean-vocals-with-breakdowns” band out there.
Melody is an integral part of Beloved’s delivery in its music. With two individual guitarists and clean vocals Josh Moore’s backup as guitar, Beloved’s three guitars create an atmosphere of music that is actually pulled off in a professional sense and can clearly be heard throughout the entire CD. Both guitarists Matt Harrison and Dusty Redmond compliment each other greatly and use the basic riffs laid out by Moore to build up upon each other. This is seen in nearly every track and its hard to find any time where they might become slowed, difficult to hear, or boring. This is not saying that bassist Johnny Smrdel is not drowned out in production, he can clearly be heard laying down the beating heart and soul of Beloved’s sound and is indespensible during the breakdowns.
Which leads me to my next subject on Failure On; breakdowns. The very presence of breakdowns in a band can lead most people to immediately reject the band, calling them unoriginal and trend-following, but this is where Beloved soars. Fusing metalcore riffs with Musten acting as main vocalist, Beloved delivers their breakdowns in a manner that can make most people turn a blind eye to their dislike of breakdowns, this is not to say that everyone will like this. Their breakdowns are most resonant in their single Death To Traitors, which culminates with a small riff and Musten shouting “We were born for battle!”.
It is sad indeed that only a year after this release that with Musten’s recent marriage, Beloved decided to call it quits. The twin contrasts of Moore and Musten’s vocals, the triple melodic guitar assault, the driving bass from Smrdel and the incredible dual wielding of Musten’s drumwork and yells made Beloved a band that would have made a major dent in the post hardcore genre. Sad indeed that good things can almost never last.