Magnetic North

Written by: PP on 06/06/2007 17:04:44

On "Magnetic North" Hopesfall moves even further away from their popular melodic screamo-hardcore approach of "The Satellite Years" era, maneuvering towards the same artistic direction as Deftones did a few years earlier. The songs on "Magnetic North" are cleaner and much more atmospheric, relying on vast melodies to create massive soundscapes, where vocalist Forrest can shine with his amazing vocal ability contesting the talent of the likes of Chino Moreno and Daryl Palumbo. While their previous record "A-Types" was deemed a disappointment, "Magnetic North" is full of moments where one just can't help but stand in awe-inspiration over the quiet/loud dynamics the band has laid out in various forms throughout the album.

It's clear from the beginning that "Magnetic North" is almost like a one-man show for vocalist Forrest. "Rx Conteder The Pretender" starts the album in a way that wouldn't feel foreign on a Glassjaw album, with Forrest singing with a high pitch voice, occasionally breaking his voice into Palumbo-like screams effortlessly, and later on in the song prolongs those throaty screams much in the same way as Chino Moreno in various songs in "Around The Fur". "Swamp Kittens" is very similar to the opening track in that it follows the same Palumbo/Moreno-style vocal dynamics while instrumentally it leans more on Deftones-like atmospheric melodies. Fastforward to "Secondhand Surgery" and the approach has almost reversed. The screams have been replaced by high-range croons and yells, and guitarists Nadler & Brigham create a vivid soundscape through their effect-laden guitars almost identical to The Bled's "Daylight Bombings". But it isn't until "Vacation/Add/Vacation!" that the band finally displays their full songwriting talent. Not only does Forrest sing in a stunningly beautiful manner, but he adjusts his lyrics and alters his pitch in an amazing way during the chorus, that believe me, will have you singing "I think I've made a greaaaaaaaaaaaat eeeeescaaaaaape" in no time. At the same time the rest of the band provides a perfect platform to make this song an instant classic, with complex lead scales and heavy rhythm guitars on the background to create one of those epic 'Saosin EP'-moments that are so rare in music.

But the problem that as great songs as the experimental "East Of 1989; Battle Of The Bay" poses is that not all songs can live up to the few diamonds on the cd. "Cubic Zirconians Are Forever" and "I Can Do This On An Island" lack the force/melody contrast that the rest of the album has, and because these are placed on the first half of the album, they have an adverse effect on how the album flows, especially considering that it is already feels like two songs too long. Though the last song "Paisley" is quite good, you rarely reach that far and instead want to do something else at least if you lack concentration skills over extended periods of time such as myself. Nevertheless, these are minor problems and shouldn't be regarded as a discouragement, because Forrest's dramatically improved voice is truly worth hearing.

Download: Vacation/Add/Vacation!, Rx Contender The Pretender, Secondhand Surgery
For the fans of: Glassjaw, Deftones
Listen: Myspace

Release date 15.05.2007
Provided by Target ApS

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