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If Hope Dies | Life in Ruin | review | metal | Lollipop

If Hope Dies

Life in Ruin (Metal Blade)
by Scott Hefflon

Fuck yeah! Like Bleeding Through, If Hope Dies are one of the new wave of American metal bands that blows me away. From upstate NY, signed to Unearth's Ironclad Recordings, and distroed by Metal Blade, who keep surprising me with top-notch new bands, without all the fumbles and flops that Trustkill and Ferret have between their jaw-droppers.

If Hope Dies have just the right amount of manly singly (not whiny emo mewl, actual singing), kinda like Shadows Fall and Killswitch Engage, only a lot more accurate, which my drunken alley-pissing is, let's be honest here, and a typical hardcore vocal, like Hatebreed/A Life Once Lost/you name it. Their success lies in the Pantera strolling riffs which, unlike most metalcore which chug/groove on the one chord which anyone with an IQ in the triple digits grows bored of that within the span on one song, If Hope Dies tap-dance through the "evil-halfsteps" and make a nice riff of it. They also like Swedish metal, as do most non-retarded metalheads. Some nice In Flames/Soilwork guitar singing, but they channel it via Shadows Fall, not Avenged Sevenfold's "look at me!" tendency, dig?

All the key ingredients: A tasteful blend of roar, rampage, stutter, groove, thunderous drumming, twin guitar interplay, manly vocals, and the blood-spattered kitchen sink.


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