Review Summary: Haste the Day falls to the sophomore slump.
Sophomore albums must be a band's worst nightmare. Trying to live up to a stellar debut, or else trying to salvage themselves after a train wreck of an album, bands are put into a position of choice. Whether to continue with the sound that gave them an identity or to change it up in order to possibly gain more clout in the music world. With When Everything Falls
Indianapolis based Haste the Day tries to capture the best of both worlds, with some degree of success.
After putting out a stellar debut in Burning Bridges
, Haste the Day had a chance to prove that the sophomore slump would not effect them, but alas this was not the case. AlthoughWhen Everything Falls
is not a terrible album by any means, it just does not have the same punch as their debut. This album follows Burning Bridges
with the mix of treble based guitars, underrated drumming, Zao-esque harsh vocals, along with the atypical clean vocals found on most modern metalcore records. Tracks like Fallen and Walk On are typical fast and aggressive Haste the Day metal, whereas Long Way Down (Goo Goo Dolls cover) and InstruMetal are on the softer side. Boasting concert favorite When Everything Falls, and the 2:14 speedburner Bleed Alone, this album is no pushover. Jimmy Ryan's vocals are as unique and in your face as always, while the guitar duo of Jason Barnes and Brennan Chaulk throw riff after riff at the listener. The drumming of Devin Chaulk is also standout, as he is one of the more under-appreciated drummers in the metal world. The bass is handled well by Mike Murphy, but gets pushed deep into the mix. Standout tracks such as All I Have and If I Could See show Haste the Day upping their technical level while still keeping the strong songwriting that was present on Burning Bridges
For all the good things about this record, why does it only attain a rating of 3? This album is good and all, yes, but it just seems like they were trying too hard to recapture the greatness they achieved on their debut. With the exception of When Everything Falls, there are no tracks on this album that measure up to the level attained by such Haste the Day classics like Blue 42, American Love, and Closest Thing to Closure. The album as a whole just feels like a re-hashed and less interesting version of Burning Bridges
. Unfortunately vocalist Jimmy Ryan would leave the band after this album, and Haste the Day would start the descent from a unique metalcore band into one that had a more generic sound.
So does When Everything Falls
deserve a place in your collection? If you are a die hard Haste the Day fan, then yes, go pick it up, but if you are only casually interested then I would suggest picking up Burning Bridges
or their most recent output Dreamer