Artist-Hell Is For Heroes
Album-The Neon Handshake
James 'Fin' Findlay-Bass
Hell is for Heroes formed out of the ashes of pop/rock band Symposium. Their first demo featuring the songs Sick/Happy and Cut Down was released and the British music press expressed some interest in them. After they released three top 40 singles to rave reviews they released this album which I think is a must have for anyone who wants heavy emotional but not cliche lyrics and soaring melodic but pretty heavy music.
Five Kids Go (3.39)-A brief clutter of reverb and weird noise opens up into a great simple riff, chugging bass and heavy drums. The rhythm section is striking since in most new rock albums the bass is nonexistent but here it sounds like it's at the forfront of the song. The verse has some nice vocals from Justin but really the strength lies in the great pre chorus which builds up to an astounding chorus where the music and vocals fit together really well. A quiet bridge opens up into a heavy but slower bridge and goes back to one more chorus which to me sounds more anthemic than the first two. This is an amazing opener (5/5)
Out of Sight (2.42)-A quiet riff opens into a simple but heavy harmonizing riff. The verse is quiet and relies on the simple opening riff. The chorus is really heavy and Justin does a lot of screaming. Melodic vocals enter in the second half of the chorus. The lyrics are really emotional but are intelligent and like the rest of the album never go into cliche. I really like this song but it doesn't reach the heights of Five Kids Go. Still it's a great song. (4/5)
Night Vision (3.38)-A simple melodic lead guitar line leads this song. The two verses have a great contrast between them (one quiet, one loud) and the chorus is really catchy and it'll be stuck in your head all the time even after one listen. Justin really pours his soul out into this song and it really shows in the bridge at the end. He sings 'I can't see at all' like he's crying out in desperation to the rest of the world to help him. (4.5/5)
Cut Down (2.41)-One of my favourite songs on the album. The guitar riff is so good and the chorus is just phenominal. The verses are simple and to the point and the end mantra of Justin singing 'When I cut down!' works really well. This is also a really optimistic song. I think it's about cutting out all the negative things you've done in the past. It really makes you want to jump around.(5/5)
Few Against Many (4.02)-Another great song which slows the pace down a little after Cut Down. A drum machine with arpeggios and deep bass start off the song and Justin sings some really deep and sinister lines in the verses. The chorus is catchy but has a different feel and is really dark with lines like 'Like a rat in a trap i'll be waiting for you, taking punches and kicks, i'll be bait for the kill.' This song can be a tad depressing but to most people that could be a good thing after Cut Down. There is a nice break down after the chorus with some good drum fills and a heavy guitar outro (4.5/5)
Three of Clubs (3.03)-My favourite song along with Cut Down and I Can Climb Mountains. A looped guitar riff moulds into an upbeat catchy mid paced verse and breaks down into a slower really soaring chorus. A quiet bridge goes into a loud but really slow outro which finishes the song off perfectly. Great upbeat lyrics too. (5/5)
I Can Climb Mountains (3.20) A harmonic intro goes into a really catchy palm muted guitar riff which then goes into one of the best choruses on the album. This is a song that addresses so many topics like politics, anger, optimism and fierce struggles. It's a great song to jump around like a maniac to but also to connect with the lyrics. (5/5)
Disconnector (3.26) This is another upbeat song that follows on from I Can Climb Mountains. It's inferior to that song because it doesn't get going until halfway through the song but after the electronic drums and quiet dynamics we get a fast soaring upbeat bridge that lasts to the end of the song. A great song but could of done with a better opening. (3.5/5)
You Drove Me To It (3.05)-This song has an insanely catchy guitar riff and it's great to headbang to. the drums are great switching between two different parts in the verses. The chorus is great. Not the best but still anthemic enough to put a lot of other bands to shame. It's a real pity that this band are still relitavely underground in everwhere but Britain. The last chorus has great double vocals. Not much else to say about it. (4.5/5)
Slow Song (5.31)-slow guitars and vocals make up most of this song. It's probably the most emotional song on the album. It gets more emotional through the song. Justin pours all his soul into this song with guitars complementing him very well. After awhile bass and drums kick in quietly and the song pauses then goes into a heavy ending chorus. This song is different too the rest of the album but in a good way. (4.5/5)
Sick/Happy (3.11)- The song that got me into this band and I'm glad they included it. A drum machine starts this song along with a great plam muted guitar riff. This song is really minimal in the verses but the chorus/bridge is layered with harmonizing guitars and thumping bass. The vocals in the chorus/bridge are really aggressive and fit the song really well. (5/5)
Retreat (3.44)- Another really emotional song. The rhythm is really disjointed and the bass has a great melody in the verse. The chorus is amazing. It suits the position of album closer really well. The song has great lead guitar and bass parts at the end which improve the song so much. It ends on a last emotional chorus with Justin and Will singing. It ends on a lead guitar part and ends on one note. Amazing closer to a fantastic album.
Positive things about this album-
It has great musicianship from all members.
Great emotional lyrics that aren't about lost love for once
Justin's vocal ability
Negative things about the album-
It's a bit short
Some people may not like Justins voice because it's unique. :D
Overall 5/5 this album is one of my favourite albums and I wish it had got more exposure than it did. People should download some songs to see what they think and if they like they should get it.
This not only is my review but my first post. Hope you enjoyed it.