High Hopes

Sights & Sounds

Written by: MAK on 26/02/2016 20:25:21

High Hopes, a band who are sure to continue to make waves in the melodic hardcore scene, have just released their second full-length album, “Sights & Sounds”, a first with the established Victory Records. The album is a follow-up to their 2013 debut, “Self Revival” - which was impressive in its own right. I remember being quite blown away when I first heard “Self Revival”, at the time it was still a fresh sound before the genre became rather oversaturated. High Hopes mixed the qualities of metalcore and melodic hardcore, emulating the fierce attitude and energy, whilst adding in the emotional atmosphere like it landed somewhere between The Ghost Inside and Counterparts.

With “Sights & Sounds” it is clearly make or break time, as the Reading quintet up their game, maturing their sound creatively and production-wise. Instantly you can hear that this release sounds a lot more professional; everything in the sound, from the vocals to the guitar work and drums, sounds a lot crisper. This clearly has given these lads a chance to showcase their talents and reach a higher potential.

As far as influence goes, there isn’t too much of a change overall, the initial 'The Ghost Inside meets Counterparts' sound is still there. But the atmosphere and general tone of this album emphasises the individual influences in a much deeper fashion, perhaps focussing on improving the melodic and emotional creativity a little more than the heavy side they had already mastered. The ass-kicking attitude that was quite the forefront factor on “Self Revival” is now balanced out nicely to diversify their appeal, but High Hopes have still managed to become heavier with it.

“Manipulator” for one contains an ass kicker of a chorus full of pure metalcore grooves and ferocious vocals. "The Bridge" takes an even heavier direction as it unleashes breakdowns that could incite violence in any room. Follow-up track “Defender” takes the same approach with fast and emotive verses, heavy choruses and an even more brutal bridge. The heaviness is strong overall, but the melodies stand out more; the hooks in "MLK" are incredibly captivating while the chorus in “The Greater Plan” goes softer and anthemic as if there was a post-hardcore influence thrown in.

The nice surprise comes along during the title-track “Sights & Sounds” to finish the album off. It is an epic and highly atmospheric finale to the album with the ominous tones and the subtle vocals that linger in the background as the wall of sound style guitars are the focal point. Everything just sounds big and hooking and you know there will be a buzz in a crowd when they finish their sets with it.

This was a very welcome addition from the Reading lads, I was highly impressed by their debut and I’m just as impressed with the growth High Hopes have made on this second release – they are still an act for people to keep an eye on. Creatively the quintet is up there with genre leaders, what the band now need is a true anthem to hook more fans in - though that is easier said than done.


Download: Manipulator, Defender, Sights & Sounds, The Callout
For The Fans Of: The Ghost Inside, Counterparts, Climates
Listen: facebook.com

Release date 05.02.2016
Victory Records

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