Haste the Day was recently faced with one of the hardest transitions imaginable: losing a front man. In late 2005, vocalist Jimmy Ryan stepped down from his position in the band. Not following the lead of many successful acts that disband after parting ways with a vocalist, Haste the Day is back with a vengeance to reclaim the name they were creating with Ryan. New front man Steve Keech has a much different scream than Jimmy Ryan, but it brings the sound together to form a much more mature blend than before. Keech has a range that sets him far above the status quo of hardcore vocalists. His voice ranges from a high, almost screechy scream, to a low power growl. Personally, I think that the main thing setting Pressure the Hinges ahead of dozens of other recent releases is the overlapping of clean vocals and gritty screams.
The title track of the record, "Pressure the Hinges," features just about everything the band has to offer. Ranging from clean vocals to double-bass-led growls, the song is the standout tune on the album. Not to be categorized by repetitive hardcore, the song "Stitches" sounds like nothing else you will encounter on your journey through Pressure the Hinges. The song starts out softly, unlike anything previously recorded by Haste the Day. This provides a refreshing break from the face-ripping screams, but the tranquility does not last long. Within 30 seconds, we are right back into the fire for another round of heavy metal.
Spiritual content is difficult to uncover on Pressure the Hinges, but is always lingering vocally. Songs such as "The Minor Prophets" abstractly outline a returning to faith. Lyrics such as, "re-break the bone to assure the healing / so that we may know you again / re-break the bone," are hard to understand, but when broken down are essentially a call to be molded by God.
As far as downsides to the album, the guitar effects are quite similar on almost every song. The album could be changed drastically by varying effects slightly. At times, it's hard to tell when a song has ended and a new song has begun. The positives greatly outweigh the negatives on Pressure the Hinges.
If it's breakdowns you are looking for, Haste the Day has lived up to the Solid State standard of heavy bass break beats, but dispels any thoughts of repetitive hardcore with clean vocal melodies. For longtime Haste the Day fanatics, this is not the band you heard on Burning Bridges, but they still offer gritty guitars and dirty screams. This record is exactly what Haste the Day needed in response to their recent lineup change. If you are at all a fan of hardcore rock 'n' roll, do yourself a major favor and pick up Pressure the Hinges!- Review date: 3/31/07, written by Nick Wallace for Jesusfreakhideout.com
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