during this album is:
Jay Forrest - Vocals
Josh Brigham - Guitar
Ryan Parrish - Guitar/backing Vocals
Chad Waldrup - Bass
Adam Morgan - Drums
Recorded at Great Western record recorders by Matt Talbalt
May 5-11, 2002
Mastered by Alan Douches @ West West Side
Released: October 15, 2002
Label as produced: Trustkill
So even though I usually post the band members in the beginning of my review, you really need to take this information with a grain of salt. This band has been through real constant line up changes and it even amazes me because it’s kind of complicated. Bare with me when I try and explain this coherently. So, Hopesfall is from North Carolina and that’s basically the only thing that pretty much stays the same. Jay Forrest wasn’t the original vocalist but Doug Venable did the vocals on the E.P. “No Wings To Speak Of”, he left shortly after it was released. After “Satellite Years” was released, original member from the 1998 lineup Ryan Parrish left. Bassist Chad Walrup shifted to guitars and a new bassist was found, Mike Tyson. It’s really just a winding path but the overall result astonishes me.
The Satellite Years
To be blunt, I’ve only owned a few albums that I can rank above this one and I only say a few because this is hard to top. I don’t know how the band went through so many line up changes and was still able to complete such an amazing album. This album is 4 years old from this review and I’m surprised that bands haven’t learned from it yet. It leaves me coughing up a lung that speaks of Botch - We Are The Romans.
Ubiquitous mixture of dissonance and melody with subtle mood changes interlocking beautifully. When I listen to this album, I need to really appreciate it for what it is, and that is a beautiful atmospherically and emotionally fierce album. From start to finish, I am just floored.
The musicianship really shines on this album. From everything to the intricate instrumentation, to the perfected use of the hard/soft contrast, to the raging vocals leading into a soft and melodic outro, this album really sets the mood for just about every mood there is. At times I even can relate such instrumentals to the great work a little
band called Isis
1. Andromeda - The opening song "andromeda" is an amazing beginning to an album which in my view is one of the most important things to any record. The track being purely instrumental, progressive but with a real mood setting power. It doesn’t put the listener to sleep but prepares them with it’s “space ambient” beginning. This instrumental can’t foolishly be skipped. *9/10*
2. Waitress - This song really will rip you to shreds after listening to Andromeda. The introduction starts off with winding guitar work and whirls around you crushingly. The vocals are presented here with throaty screams that never really let go of you. There are just so many formations throughout the song that is presented clear cut with crushing pre-chorus and even a melodic outro. The song just starts up so fast and hard hitting and winds down perfectly without letting go of the listener. *9/10*
3. Dead in Magazines - This song continues in a similar fashion that “Waitress” did. I love the melody and harmony during the beginning of this song that accompanies the screams well. After the introduction the guitar takes on a full force with its palm muted lick and the screams become an apparatus. The chorus presents a more melodic hard hitting side of the band. It seems like the music never ceases to stop attacking the listener but when it switches over to an acoustic outro which has so much passion behind it, the transition is perfect. It almost gives my ears a sense of clarity and peace. *10/10*
4. Dana Walker - The drums introduce this song slowly filling your headphones. Incomes a palm mute thrashy sound from the guitar and soon Jay Walkers fierce screaming. This song will shred you to pieces with it’s screams if you are not appointed to this genre of music. The song really slows down in the interlude letting the band steer the ship of the music. This isn’t a bad thing of course as it seems like a short break with licks that would make the band “Thursday” proud. The song isn’t over yet but the drums pound once again to signify the hellacious screams to roar over again. Once again this outro features a softer side of guitar, bass, and drums. They intervene perfectly, and there isn’t really much to say about a band who can show this side of them. *10/10*
5. Decoys Like Curves - This song is way more melodic than the past 2. I don’t have anything against Jay Walkers singing because he isn’t the best singer who’s going to overpower you but he exhibits a lot of emotional in what he says. This song I can even find myself to sing a long too. The breakdown really comes with the thrashy style of guitar and the revert back to screams. Don’t let it fool you though because the singing has a 3:1 ratio over the screaming. It’s not a bad thing.
“we drove these streets heads to shoulders
existing to tell the tales of letting go
and now we're strangled to tears on the fallback farewell
its all in our heads
the faint whispers
I tried to tell myself when its already over” *7/10*
6. A Man Exits - This song takes you back to where really “Dana Walker” seemed to leave off. The vocals will just attack you right in the beginning of the song but the musicianship is headed in a little different venture. There are so many bands that sound the same in this genre that will constantly put on the same attack of style but this band exhibits a lot of diversity and I believe this is a song that backs this view. In the interlude with what seems to be a guitar played over single coils, it crescendos perfectly into a climax. The end of this song really puts atmosphere in a level where I feel like I’m floating in out of space. *10/10*
7. Redshift - “Redshift” really feels like the band on cruise control. It’s a slower paced and softer song that creates a lot of atmosphere for the listener. It only lasts for only over a minute and a half and really isn’t “out to get you”. It accompanies the album and really that’s it. *5/10*
8. Only the Clouds - This song really hits harder than it probably should because of the “Redshift” fill beforehand. The song really seems attending to concrete that hard to soft ratio. It does it well indeed, and I really just love how the instruments create mood. The drums in this outro really feel to stand out and once again this band seems to create an almost immaculate ending to a song. *8/10*
9. Escape Pod For Intangibles - This song has a really cool shutdown in the beginning with it’s distorted guitars slowly transiting to a pure clean channel. The fact that it sounds like the guitar cabinet is blowing through the wall and suddenly shuts off to a clean like watery feel is just beautiful. The vocals are melodic in a weird way of almost talking. It feels like the lyrics are just repeated over and over but really I feel like this song sets up the closing one perfectly. *9/10*
10. The Bending - Oh my god… This song is epic in my mind. I can listen to this song throughout and every time I hear it, the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. Band’s please take notes from this song because even if it is the closing song, it’s just one hell of a song in general. I feel like it accompanies all of the album in one song with everything this band does wonderfully. I really can’t recommend this song enough and there really aren’t any words to justify it. The drums and guitars just seem to be on an all time high for the closing of this album. *10/10*
Declination from Heaven
I feel like every time I listen to all 10 of these songs, and need to get back to the “real world” I dread it. It feels like I’ve fallen out of the sky or something. This album is called “Satellite Years” and there is no doubt that they make you feel like you’re in a space suit floating around but it also isn’t too far away to be considered cheesy. Mixing dissonance and melody, Hopesfall is a unique fixture on the hardcore musical landscape. They are progressive and they really just stand out there from the usual Rawr Rawr Shish Komba crap. You just have to give this album a try, it’s all that can be said. Yeah, some songs are harder to listen to than others but really all of the pieces are there. The beautiful instrumentals and the atmosphere let you just go into your own dream world and clear your conscience.
+ Musicianship as all
+ The album has a clear cut direction and it executes so close to perfection.
- I wish it was longer.
Why I’m giving this album a god worthy 5: Aaron Burgess of Alternative Press had a quote about Botch that I really think puts a lot of things in perspective. He told of how they caused a 20-year evolution in hardcore to take place overnight and that meaning, no one’s caught up yet. This album is from 2002 and it’s 2006 and still has a regular play rotation on my headphones. It’s just an incredible album from start to finish and is held high by many. Some even say that this is Hopesfall’s peak right here. I feel like I do this album an injustice by giving it a 4.5 and even as it’s hard to see an album being called a classical, many people will argue that it is, indeed.
I'm one of those people.