Review Summary: A Thousand Dayseekers.
Post-Hardcore and Metalcore bands love turning into Pop bands. It’s a trend that seems to be taking over the best of them and its where the cash money
seems to be. Whilst it is largely frowned upon and what most would call selling out, bellovddd has a soft spot for it. The combination of pop choruses and silly uncleans are a comfort zone because I know what I’m getting and I like what I get, most of the time…
Thousand Below were at one point, a solid Post-Hardcore/Metalcore outfit that had some beefy riffing on their debut and a great vocal performance from Frontman James. Then they lost a guitarist and drummer and whilst it isn’t rare for bands to fall apart when members leave, losing these members had a rather staggering effect on the band and seemingly they lost every bit of ability to write a compelling riff or melody and their sophomore release suffered immensely from this.
Now, Thousand Below have entered what can only be described as their ‘Dayseekercore’
phase. This newish
brand of emotional pop music incorporates beefy riffs and unclean vocals to make you believe they are Post-Hardcore/Metalcore tracks when really they are nothing more than sad pop songs. This is the territory Thousand Below have firmly cemented themselves in with the release of ‘Hell Finds You Everywhere’. A release that I have loved, hated, loved and now I am where I am with it.
Right from the title track I was pleasantly surprised. James’s vocals make a strong return, and the melody lines were back with the chorus standing out as one of the best on the album. Noah Sebastian is apparently on the track, I am not the biggest Bad Omens fan so I couldn’t really hear him, maybe in the second chorus? Either way he doesn’t add anything apart from name recognition from a current ‘big’ band.
Scattered throughout the album are some truly impressive moments. The breakdown in ‘Venenosa’ being my favorite on the record and James finds some Lows that have been missed. ‘Face to Face’ has some of the best riffing they have laid down since their Debut. The chorus to ‘Clockwork Enemy’ is huge and the pop track ‘Next Time Around’ is damn catchy and very well put together. These moments do stand out, purely because everything else is quite bland and expected
I should absolutely hate ‘Sabotage’. It’s the biggest culprit for predictability and really what I dislike
about this new style. The overdramatic production and lyrical content followed by the smallest of unclean vocal sections just to let you know they are still HEAVY…. So why do I find myself returning to it more than any other track here?? Has bellovddd finally lost it (if he ever had it)??
No, James’s vocals carry the track and despite the cliché nature of it all, he hits it out of the park. His vocals and melody lines hold most of the tracks together. The latter half of the album relies heavily on them with the rest of the band really taking a step back and embracing the pop side of things, with unclean vocals and riffing used sparingly if at all.
‘Hell Finds You Everywhere’ is a better release then it had any right to be. With so many bands filling this poppy hardcore space now most of them kind of just wash over me if I don’t already know them and even then, if I feel their attempts are half hearted or simply just to follow a buck, I write them off completely. Say what you will about Thousand Below, I firmly believe they are 100% behind what they are doing, and James’s strong vocal performance makes me return to this more then say, Dark Sun.