Review Summary: Rescuer have created a masterpiece. Its visceral vocals, energetic melodies, punchy drums and raw production culminate into an experience that those who embrace it, will not forget.
Rise Records are a label known best for their signing of metal-core and post-hardcore bands which employ the clichéd sing/scream/breakdown formula and verb/the/noun band name. It no doubt caught everyone by surprise when they announced that they had signed Rescuer, a 5 piece melodic-hardcore band hailing from Tampa, Florida. Skepticism is the most appropriate word to describe my initial feelings towards this, a melodic hardcore band signed to Rise Records might as well be considered an oxymoron. However badly received Rescuer was by fans of 'Risecore', Rise Records have truly signed a gem amidst their array of dirt.
With Time Comes the Comfort is melodic hardcore at its finest. With a blend of modern hardcore and 90's screamo, the band finds a perfect niche between energetic, raw aggression, and emotionally gripping melody. These aspects are seen through the gritty, visceral yells, punchy production, frenetic drumming and melodically charged riff-work in each song. Many people, especially the aforementioned 'Risecore' fans will instantly dismiss the band upon hearing the vocals, however they are easily the most intriguing aspect of the band. JP Marra's raw vocal delivery perfectly illustrates the emotion behind his poetic, cliché devoid, lyrics.
The lyrics happen to be one of the strongest selling points of the album. While Marra isn't the most intelligible vocalist, upon learning and understanding the lyrics it's easy to hear the sincerity in his vocals when discussing topics such as society, tolerance, and personal demons. An example of this would be the highly covered theme throughout the album; how youth will not last forever. This can be seen in the aptly named 'Faded Youth' which contains some of the most powerful lyric work seen on the album, with lines like "It comes to me now as a silhouette. I'll spend the rest of my life in the shadow of yesterdays. In the best of intentions, failure has found its home.". It becomes easy to hear, and feel the emotion behind the near indecipherable vocals. Another lyrical strong point on the album is 'Untitled' which will no doubt connect to anyone who has found them self in a hopeless position throughout their life. With its most powerful line: "Every thought too weak to cross my lips is pouring out of my fingertips.", this song is bound to hit home to many people. The depth you hear in the songs is not only found in the lyrics, but heard within raw sentiment of the instruments.
The energetic melodic leads, devoid of breakdowns or any form of chugging rarely leave a time for you to catch your breath. Despite being composed of nearly all melody with the occasional 'punkish' riff for variety, the album does not suffer from repetition or feel as though it is a tedious listen. Each song has its own unique , emotionally charged, melodic guitar lead which gives the album a unique flow to it. This flow can be seen in one of the standout tracks 'Birds of Prey', it begins rather nonchalantly with one of the aforementioned 'punkish' riffs, but transitions into one of the most glorious melody's on the album. 'Shame', the first single for the album, also employs this method to great success. The elegant melody perfectly complements the visceral shrieks which are utilized in the absence of any guitar work, making this single an incredibly strong representation of how the album plays.
The drums often define certain songs, they are utilized near perfectly to accentuate the other instruments. Whether it be the simple fills in the twangy bass section in 'Locked Inside' where they truly cement the song, or to serve as aggressive, energetic introductions, heard in: 'Tides', 'Shame', and the spectacular album closer 'Dead Ends'. However, where they truly shine is in their ability to remain incognito and contribute to, rather than overpower, the other elements. While this can be attributed to the production, it is mostly due to the niche which they rarely stray from, fortunately this does not make them stagnant or uninteresting, rather, it works very well for this album.
One of the strongest aspects, and in many regards, the 'icing on the cake', is the production. As opposed to the typical 'Risecore' production, consisting of overbearing vocals, crunchy guitars and stale drums; the production found on 'With Time Comes the Comfort' is natural. However that's not to say that it's clean or crisp by any means. The album is raw, punchy and energetic, with each element perfectly complementing the other. The production is a refreshing breath of air for what is often a very 'carbon copy' element. It further separates the band from not only 'Risecore' bands, but from other melodic hardcore bands, putting Rescuer on a level of their own.
Very few albums in this genre leave such an impression as 'With Times Comes the Comfort'. While it will no doubt remain unseen by many, or instantly dismissed by others on the basis of the record label, Rescuer have created a masterpiece. Its visceral vocals, energetic melodies, punchy drums and raw production culminate into an experience that those who embrace it, will not forget it.