Haste the Day returns with a sophmore effort that is the musical equivalent of a burlap sack full of anvils: heavy metal. Their record, When Everything Falls, is a blazing mix of crisp, fast metal with a bit of emo-core thrown into the fray.
Fans expecting a new sound, or some stylistic deviation from their debut, Burning Bridges, may be dissapointed, as the band sticks with the tried and true. One pleasant surprise, however, is a fantastic cover of the Goo Goo Dolls' "Long Way Down." As with Burning Bridges, When Everything Falls is a 35 minute marathon of fast riffage, heavy breakdowns, throat-ripping vocals, and uplifiting harmony. A combination of things that you normally wouldn't find all in one place - like Mick Jagger and Richard Pryor at the Betty Ford Clinic. But it works, and anyone who liked Haste the day the first time around will also dig this record.
Lyrically, the band writes simply, yet with clear themes of redemption, healing, loss and other easily identifiable human situations. As for the 99% of us who can't speak metal, the lyrics card is a great cipher for understanding just what this man, who could scare a Scotsman into wearing skivvies under his skirt, is screaming. Lead singer Jimmy Ryan's versatile singing/screaming voice is just as powerful as the rest of the instrumentation.
The slower breakdowns are similar to those on Burning Bridges, and most are actually more simplistic, with the exception of that on "Bleed Alone." In fact, to highlight a great metal track, "Bleed Alone" is an incredible song about selfishness and falsehood with powerful lyrics and message tucked into a hard and fast sonic assault.
Haste the Day does not dissapoint with their second release, and keeps the momenentum going with another great collection of music. Their sound is a throwback to the Swedish death metal bands of yore, without the operatic vocals. The crisp, clean guitar sound, singing leads, driving speed and pumping riffs all point to old school metal without quite being Swedish... or annoying. They are carving themselves a niche in a flooded genre, and doing it well.
On the complaint side, the album is very short, with most songs barely reaching 3:00 in length. More is better. Sometimes. A little variation in sound and chosen guitar effects would be great, as well as some guitar solos. The only solo on the album is in the cover song, which is flawlessly done, but some more original lead work would be quite welcome.- Review date: 06/22/05, written by Sean Lex
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