Hail the Villain
Population: Declining



by fromtheinside USER (130 Reviews)
July 6th, 2009 | 13 replies

Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The best way to make a decision on whether you'll like this band or not is to honestly listen for yourself, tracks worth mentioning include, "Runaway", "My Reward", "Social Graces" - a very interesting breakdown in the middle, and "Evil Has a Name".

Giving credit where credit is due, this band has a fantastic moniker. If you haven't heard of the band or seen anything in relation to what they're 'creating' I'd check out their MySpace before you continue reading, because that will get you more excited about them if anything is going to - www.myspace.com/hailthevillain. They've definitely got something going for them in the marketing aspect, some of their cool back drops and pics had me almost downloading a few, along with their name being as original as I've seen in a while.

Now onto the bad news. If you don't appreciate a band taking one riff and mixing it up 12 times I'd suggest you stop reading at this point, should I stop reviewing as well saving us both the trouble?

The band kicks their cd "Population:Declining" with the overly infectious "Take Back the Fear" which introduces us to this Canadian quartet with an aggression not seen anywhere in music today, I promise you. Bryan Crouch has a great voice as he balances between being the bands aggressor soaring over the guitars at the right moments and soothing the listener in it's quiet moments, which only occur once in a blue moon. You have been forewarned though because once you start it's like watching a Michael Bay movie, there is no stopping the force that will emit from your speakers.

This band is angry about something, and it's clear early on they're gonna let you know about it over a course of 40 minutes. Take a look at some of the titles, "Try Hating the World", "Swan Dive Suicide", "Evil Has A Name" - the latter being one of the bands standout tracks as it is one pure adrenaline rush from start to finish, with it's soaring chorus bringing us to the peak of the album before it takes it's own swan dive suicide.

The biggest problem I face with the album is what plagues so many Rock albums of the modern era, being the first 5-6 tracks are fine sometimes even exceptional but then their creative juices absolutely evaporate and they start rehashing the same formula for every single song thereafter. They blast you in the first seconds with a strong riff, whether it sounds like every other one we've heard by then is beside the point, and then carry into the singer yelling about how upset he is, and then comes the screaming chorus, rinse and repeat. The easiest way to tell if you're going to like this band or not is to simply listen to one song, I'd suggest, "Runaway", "My Reward", or "Social Graces" and decide form there. Trust me you will know whether or not this will be an enjoyable listen for you from then on.

The band does however have it's moment, as mentioned earlier "Runaway" is a fantastic blend of Alexisonfire and Five Finger Death Punch giving us the best solo on the album. Which brings me to the next positive point, it's got something apparently most bands forgot is important in musicianship, that being simply - musicianship. Joseph Stamp definitely knows how to play his instrument producing several solos that fit into the song very nicely and early on have you craving more. They've got their own sound too, that's for sure, as I had a tough time trying to relate them to someone else out there today.

Last word: The negatives outweigh the positives unfortunately, as they struggle to create a lasting impression on their cd, multiple listens is certainly a tough task being asked from us this band. You'll find your hand on the skip button often, or checking to see if you've accidentally hit the repeat button because of how similar everything sounds.

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user ratings (58)
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Alex Carlson (4)
With its fist-to-face intensity and infectious hooks, Population: Declining is a monster of a debut ...

Comments:Add a Comment 
July 6th 2009


is this a protest the hero cover band or something

Digging: The Decemberists - What A Terrible World, What A Beautiful World

July 7th 2009


no, sadly that probably would have have worked better. =/

Digging: Bolt Thrower - ...For Victory

March 21st 2010


Album Rating: 3.5

This is pretty good.

Digging: Renounced - The Melancholy We Ache

April 27th 2010


i seriously thought i was the only one who knew about this band.

May 4th 2010


Album Rating: 3.0

"You'll find your hand on the skip button often, or checking to see if you've accidentally hit the repeat button because of how similar everything sounds."

i hate when that happens. but i'll check this out anyway. even if it's for a few good songs. i just heard "take back the fear" and i kinda liked it.

Digging: Comadre - Comadre

June 3rd 2010


'runaway' is still pretty good.

June 3rd 2010


i absolutely adore this band, and they only live in hour from me :] i've had Population: Declining since April and it doesn't come out till the 8th LMAO

June 3rd 2010


i've had this album for 2 years.

May 25th 2011


Album Rating: 4.0

This is awesome stuff

June 11th 2011


Album Rating: 4.0


October 24th 2011


Album Rating: 3.5

one of the only mainstream rock bands i care about

January 12th 2013


I forgot what a solid album this was.

Digging: Tinashe - Aquarius

December 17th 2013


Album Rating: 4.0

Can't say I agree with this review at all. Or the comment about hitting skip. Great album, look forward to seeing what these guys do in the future.

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