Review Summary: A cause for celebration among the Rise repertoire.
At this point, I get sick of even mentioning the term "risecore", but it's so prominent nowadays overshadowing great bands, unfortunately. Fear not, however: The Color Morale is here with an excellent release to fix your aching eardrums. Returning with the pleasant metalcore sound that they brandished for the past two releases, TCM has some newfound maturity under their belt, well describing their case for modern metalcore by the name of Know Hope
The song structure is a part of the tunes that hasn't changed, but isn't something that needed to be altered. Songs like Smoke and Mirrors and Living Breathing Something all have the similar quick pace that we're used to hearing by now and can enjoy. Silver Lining is the thrasher of the record and songs like Steadfast and Learned Behavior are anthem-y songs that bring the real "hope" aspect into Know Hope
, and the fact that the emotions of the record and the lyrics thoroughly reflect the title. Look to the aforementioned tracks to be the most impressed. The most popular topic being spoken of however, is the new method of screaming by vocalist Garrett Rapp. Reminiscent of the style change by Oli Sykes of Bring Me the Horizon
, Rapp has adapted a harsh yell for which both he and Sykes could be compared to Drew York of Stray From the Path
or the legendary Zack De La Rocha of Rage Against the Machine
. None of which are all too comparable at all by the actual music, but the style of vocals have that familiar rasp which can most famously be accredited to De La Rocha. The change has worked in the favor of Rapp, giving his group stronger emotion in delivery, along with an awesome improvement of singing. Additionally, the strong meaning behind the lyrics almost give me goosebumps while listening:
"So maybe this time I need to be standing for someone to believe
Like a weathered oak with know hope carved in me
So maybe this time I need to be standing for someone to believe
You can take the life from me but I'll always be here standing, still
Every time you need me" - In Light in Me
So much metalcore is either depressing or angry, but Know Hope
effectively pairs the melancholy and the angry into an album with lyrics that inspire change for the better rather than messing up your enemies and cutting yourselves over teenage girls.
What makes the album so thoroughly enjoyable, as the listener adjusts to the new vocals? The overall performance of the album is something that can be debated on who carries the album through its phases. The guitars traditionally come first in the writing process, but in this album the real carrier is the drums. The riffs are a real power in all string and percussion-based music, but drummer Steve Carey does a phenomenal job in Know Hope
especially. His constant driving force of pulsing beats and thrashing fills commands the tempo of the record with ease, as the king of crescendos and always the push and pull among the placement of riffs and crushing breakdowns. The relentless, violent riffing of Silver Lining would be nothing without the right delivery of the drums and the inspiring melodious feeling of Steadfast is detailed by the headbanging beats throughout. Never to lose credit though, the three stringed soldiers for TCM are great at what they do and all come together for this incredible experience throughout the album.
The only evident flaw would be anything that the scenie weenie avoids this band for. Not like we even want em here, but the album lacks the popular flashy single like metalcore counterparts (or excuses for, depending on your opinion) Bring Me the Horizon and Memphis May Fire
do with "Shadow Moses" and "Prove Me Right", respectively. I don't see this as much of a problem, but TCM traditionally hasn't been the most commercially crazed band anyways. Those who have the deeper, actually meaningful views on music can be here to enjoy bands like The Color Morale.
Recommended: Silver Lining, Steadfast, Living Breathing Something, Saviorself