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If Hope Dies: Life in Ruin

Let's just start off by saying that you won't hear anything new on Life in Ruin, the latest from New York's If Hope Dies. There's plenty of intricate and crushing guitar riffs, speedy & pounding rhythms, and of course brutal vocals permeating each and every song. So what differentiates If Hope Dies from the Hatebreed's, Unearth's, As I Lay Dying, The Red Chord's, Trivium's, and Killswitch Engage's of the world? Well, not much, but damn if there's not a good amount of catchy harmonies and crankin' riffs floating around the twelve tunes on this CD. The problem is that there is so much saturation in the world of metal meets hardcore we call "metal-core" that it really takes a lot for a band to stand out. If Hope Dies has two hot axe-slingers in Thad Jackson and Brian Ward, who pump out an assortment of crunchy riffs and nifty lead fills on "Time is Not On Our Side" and "Marked for Death", adding that ever important metal attitude and technicality to the bands music. Lead singer Alan French spends much of his time delivering a mix of screams and growls, offering little variety except on a tune like "Anthem For the Unemployable", where his melodic clean vocals work quite well and are very catchy, or the cyber metal shouts ala Fear Factory on "Nuked From Orbit". Otherwise, his static vocal attack gets a little grating at times, but in all honesty his style does fit the music. Musically this band is heading in the right direction, and if French can squeeze in some different vocal styles on the next album, I think the band might step to the next level.

Track Listing

  1. Burned Out
  2. Anthem For The Unemployable
  3. Dead Reckoning
  4. Time Is Not On Our Side
  5. Fear Will Keep Them In Line
  6. Water Into Wine Cooler
  7. The Ultimate Nullifier
  8. Marked For Death
  9. Some Skynard
  10. Nuked From Orbit
  11. Life In Ruin

Added: April 5th 2006
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 2435
Language: english

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