Review Summary: Broken Hope offer a solid slab of pure death metal that is surprisingly fresh and fun to listen to even in a year where the genre was at an all time low.
Let's take a ride back to 1997, where the Death Metal genre was suffering from a lack of creativity and consistency. Favorites like Death, Suffocation, and Morbid Angel hadn't put anything out yet, while other power houses such as Deicide and Cannibal Corpse were just releasing album after album of pure crap. and new bands emerging were putting out the same rehashed garbage the bands in 1996 did a year before. Though 97 is an infamous year for Death Metal, some albums managed to stand out among the pack, and Broken Hope delivered one of those gems.
Well have you even ever heard of Broken Hope? No? That's fine, Most people haven't. Broken Hope are a very obscure band, they released 4 albums in a span of 8 years, even toured with such bands as Suffocation and Deicide in their early days, but never really garnered much attention in the death metal scene during their lifespan. People often overlook them as a gimmick or just an average metal band with no real identity or substance behind their existence. In some cases this could be true, but Broken Hopes 1997 album Loathing, is an exception.
Broken Hope is:
Joe Ptacek - Vocals
Ryan Stanek - Drums
Brian Griffin - Lead Guitars
Jeremy Wagner - Rhythm Guitar
Shaun Glass - Bass
The first noticeable trait Loathing carries is it's great production. It's very clear and crisp, and at the same time it's sound is clearly heavy. Each instrument sounds perfect in the mix, and carries it's own weight throughout the duration of the album. Broken Hope combine all of their crushing riffs, breakdowns, and low guttural vocals together very well and produce a sound very original that does well to stray from getting tedious after each track. The vocals on Loathing are one of the highlights of the album, Joe Ptacek vocals are very guttural and loud. While Ptacek doesn't show much range, he still delivers and his voice blends well with the rest of the band even when Ryan Stanek is blasting away on his drum set furiously, Ptacek seems to be able to keep up with the pace nicely. The lyrics on loathing are also a highlight of the album, each song follows it's own individual theme and is in no relation to the next. The Guitar work on the album is anything less than superb, Griffin and Wagner compliment each other respectively throughout each song, combining heavy chugging sections with fast tremolo picking and slow, dark soloing. Throughout the album, Broken Hope manage to stay fresh while still showcasing straight up intense musical ability.
Loathing is undeniably Broken Hopes Best work, and I strongly recommend at least checking this album out for what it's worth. It's combines the best elements of their past efforts together into one filthy creation of astounding Death Metal.
High on Formaldehyde
I Am God
Auction of the Dead