Review Summary: Consistently consistent.
For nearly six years Long Island band, This Is Hell, have been a staple to the modern hardcore genre; consistently releasing acceptable and above par albums and EPs since their inception in 04. In a way, the best way to describe This Is Hells entire musical career would be: consistently consistent. Never changing too much, not taking risks and staying content with their fiery brand of hardcore, This Is Hell have released their third full length album under their new label Rise Records (I know, right?), the fairly clichéd album named Weight of the World.
Right from the get-of of Weight of the World we are treated to basic in your face modern hardcore punk songs. Alternate d-beat inspired drumming and infectiously catchy riffs, filled to the brim with break stop-and-go’s and your cliché gang shouts make up the entirely of this album with little to no variation throughout the album. While this might be a recipe for disaster for most readers, fear not, for it is actually those parts of the album that make Weight of the World a fun album to listen to. In a scene that is flooded with auto tuned vocals and carelessly crafted breakdowns, This Is Hell stay true to the basic approach to underground hardcore; no one will fault them for ‘selling out’ which seems to be the popular approach nowadays.
So yeah, This Is Hell may have crafted a fairly average album, but what stops them from becoming stagnant and boring in their third album? Are their any new ideas present in Weight of the World. Well, yes. But not really. For all intents and purposes this album is solely a hardcore/punk album and will be remembered and thus. However, there are dashes of new and exciting directions felt on Weight of the World that help make this album an above average release, if only marginally. The previous release prior to Weight of the World was the Warbirds EP which we see several of those previous songs making its way onto this new album. The thing that made the EP a bit more standout-ish was the bits of crossover thrash felt throughout the songs and covers. It is this reason that Weight of the World becomes more than your average ‘tough guy’ brocore release. Songs like ‘The Search’ and ‘Worship Syndrome’ are reminiscent to thrash bands such as Slayer, Anthrax and crossover thrash band Cro-Mags; if anything, it lets the listener know that This Is Hell could possibly be moving in a new and better direction in future releases. Only time will tell.
In the end, this album will definitely not change ones opinion on the genre in any way. A fun, energetic and catchy hardcore album, Weight of the World will undoubtedly make its way into countless hardcore recommendation lists for those just starting to get into the genre. While the modern hardcore genre is not without teeth, This Is Hells third album fails to create and album that will stand the test of time as it will surely be swept up and ignored as time goes by. But it is hard to find fault in an album that stays so true to the basic rules and ethos’ that is hardcore punk. While there may be a few new ideas sprinkled out throughout the album, This Is Hell may need to start rethinking their approach and assault, but in the meantime we have Weight of the World, an acceptable and fairly above average release to carry us over.