The thing that immediately hits you when you listen to State Of Disgrace is the interesting use of keyboards by this metal band. Not quite as progressive as Man On Fire or as hard as Royal Hunt, Hour Cast has produced a CD that grabs your attention and takes you for a dark, emotional ride.
It is hard to pigeonhole Hour Cast. They will remind you at times of Nickelback or Incubus, but the use of electronics bring me back to Royal Hunt during the DC Cooper years. The vocals are both straightforward, yet harsh, bringing the emotion to the surface in the same way as Labyrinth. "Freeze" is a prime example of the emotion of both the music and vocals. "3rd Of July" has the background interludes that give it a Nine Inch Nails feel. Songs like "UHaul" still need some work and show the youth of this band, but then "Lunar" comes along and you can't believe this is a first CD.
Hour Cast isn't blazing new ground, but I do give them credit for finding the different pieces that are important to them and merging it into their own sound. State Of Grace is an impressive first CD by this young band. You can hear the different ideas going on and in the future it will be good to see if these concepts and diversions get developed. Recommended to Melodic Metal fans.
1. This Life
4. God Failed
6. Smash Up
7. Almost Like Life
9. 3rd Of July
11. Memories And Lies