The Color Morale
Hold On Pain Ends


2.5
average

Review

by beachdude USER (36 Reviews)
August 30th, 2014 | 73 replies


Release Date: 09/02/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Uplifting lyrics can’t make up for uninspired instrumentation and songwriting.

The Color Morale have recently become an unexpected focal point of debate in the modern metalcore scene. After releasing two solid yet predictable albums over the span of a few years, the band decided to make some minor yet surprising changes on their third full-length, 2013’s Know Hope. Vocalist Garret Rapp dropped much of his typical metalcore screams and guttural lows for more hardcore punk-influenced harsh vocals, while the band’s instrumental section also took notes from the hardcore playbook, expanding their sonic palette in enough directions to keep the album fresh and frequently surprising. They were rewarded by a rapidly expanding fanbase among the Warped Tour crowd, as Know Hope debuted at #1 on the Billboard Top Heatseekers Chart. However, many of the band’s longtime fans accused them of “selling out” for changing their style in what they saw as a more mainstream-leaning direction. After leaving Rise Records earlier this year for competing label Fearless, many observers wondered if the band would prosper in a less stifling environment, or create a quick cash-in on the more generic elements of their last record.

Unfortunately, The Color Morale’s fourth full-length, Hold On Pain Ends, far too frequently treads down the latter path, to middling results. This is not a bad record per se, but it is one that passes in and out of the listener’s memory like a mediocre rom com movie… while it may be enjoyable enough in the midst of the experience, there is very little that latches on and begs for repeated listens. The potential - and problems - of the record set in immediately from the opening track, which kicks off the album’s recurring theme of struggling with personal demons, and is set to bland, chug-a-lug instrumentation with the occasional melodic line in the chorus. This would be fine if it was merely a setup for better things to come, but with very few exceptions, the record follows the opening track’s formula to a T. Every single song on the record features some variety of “uplifting” lines that are directed at the band’s fans, instructing them to persevere through the struggles in their lives and dealing with issues such as self harm and mental illness. While this was surprisingly effective on Know Hope, the lyrics here often seem to barely scratch the surface of very serious issues, and often ring hollow, feeling like a cheap attempt at mimicking what the band seems to think made their last record successful. Cringe-worthy “pun” titles like “Damnaged”, “Prey For Me”, “Scar Issue” and “Between You and Eye” do not help matters. And the instrumentation is among the weakest in the band’s discography, rarely deviating from a standard metalcore formula. Virtually none of the progress made in Know Hope is utilized in any significant way, with the exception being the increase in clean vocals.

The album closes with the titular track, a tender acoustic number that hits many of the notes that the rest of the album misses. While the lyrics are still typical in many ways, they feel more heartfelt and genuine than much of the record’s generalities, and Rapp’s delivery, combined with a slow-building sing-along outro, leads to a surprisingly poignant moment that closes Hold On Pain Ends on a strong note. However, this standout track is ultimately too little, too late for a record that consistently fails to excel. The Color Morale seem to have proved their detractors right - this record feels like a cheap cash-in on the most mundane elements of the otherwise solid Know Hope. This is a completely competent, average post hardcore album - little more, little less. If that’s all this band was aiming for, then that’s fine, but it seems clear from the best moments of Know Hope that they are capable of much more.



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user ratings (143)
Chart.
2.6
average

Comments:Add a Comment 
beachdude
August 30th 2014


846 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I was thoroughly disappointed by this... their last one was a fun listen.

ScuroFantasma
Staff Reviewer
August 30th 2014


11690 Comments


Really good review, Beach, definitely deserves a pos. “Prey For Me" though? Taking song titles from Korn?

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JohnnyOnTheSpot
Emeritus
August 30th 2014


6700 Comments


Nice review, pos

nononsense
August 30th 2014


3512 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Meh

beachdude
August 30th 2014


846 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Really good review, Beach, definitely deserves a pos. “Prey For Me" though? Taking song titles from Korn?


I know, the titles are so bad... music for the most part isn't much better honestly.

Gameofmetal
Staff Reviewer
August 30th 2014


10580 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

Great review. Know Hope really clicked with me and I still jam it a lot. The first single from this was pretty lackluster though. The second was ok and when they streamed this, the first song sounded ok. Yet to listen to it but this review really bums me out.

titanslayer
August 30th 2014


2713 Comments


A 2.5 is really generous if the rest of the album is like the single

beachdude
August 30th 2014


846 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

A 2.5 is really generous if the rest of the album is like the single


There are some songs that are a lot better than the singles but that's not saying much.

ZodiacalWolf
August 30th 2014


191 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Most of the songs are heaps better than any of the 3 singles.

Spec
August 30th 2014


35679 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

The harsh vocals are unlistenable.

xpaincakex
August 30th 2014


270 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

seriously why did these guys shit out an album within a year...was gonna be bad.





This is surprisingly decent but its nowhere near their old work. Vocalist needs to do more cleans

though for sure.

Skoop
August 31st 2014


2110 Comments


Its not as bad as people will make it out to be, but its not up to the level of their previous
material.

sspedding
September 1st 2014


5242 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

this new vocal style is appalling.



Just needs to concentrate on cleans now.

Gestapo
September 1st 2014


1383 Comments


everything is appalling

Gameofmetal
Staff Reviewer
September 2nd 2014


10580 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

Prey For Me is a pretty good jam actually. Best track I've heard so far.

Tyler.
September 2nd 2014


16874 Comments


i hate these guys' super uplifting and hopeful lyrics tbh i hate all of it fuck

dixoncocks
September 2nd 2014


3218 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

It's like spongebob started screaming in a metalcore band.



I miss I, The Jury days...

Gameofmetal
Staff Reviewer
September 2nd 2014


10580 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

Yeah shame on them for trying to be positive. What a shitty thing to do.



Nah for real it worked well on the last album but not so much here.

Tyler.
September 2nd 2014


16874 Comments


it seems so forced and cliched like hold on the pain ends~~~~ so dumb so people see that and like wow look at how positive they are! idk

anyway half a song in and i'm done

Mort.
Contributing Reviewer
September 2nd 2014


14284 Comments


eurgh that cover art

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