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JFH Staff Review


A Hope For Home, Realis
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A Hope For Home
Realis



Artist Info: Discography
Album length: 12 tracks: 51 minutes, 53 seconds
Street Date: March 30, 2010


A Hope For Home is an experimental, post-hardcore sextet from Portland, Oregon. They stray from the typical hardcore bands that Facedown Records has been known for such as: Seventh Star, Figure Four, and Comeback Kid, but they hold their own. They bring a little bit of everything to the table with their newest release, Realis, including hardcore screams, metal guitars, and even some synthesizers mixed with ambient sounds.

The story of Realis is a good one. The first half of the album is dark and written from the point of view of a Nihilist: The world has no meaning/There is no God. The second half of the album is a story of hope as man emerges into the light. The song "Post Tenebras Lux," translated "Life After Darkness," is the beginning of that change as the final words are screamed, "We've buried the flame, but I contend to dig it up again." "No Light," is the darkest, most abysmal, song on the album; it is also the highlight. The piano that leads the intro as well as the light guitar strums and the ambient background noise are a great start. The vocals start about 2:15 into the song, sounding as if ripped straight from a dreamscape, with the bleak lyrics, "There's no way out of this, no light, no hope…" The track clearly signals the lowest point of the story. "After," ends the album as a song that's lyrics brings certainty and reason, "In time we will understand this is not the end to all that will be."

Where Realis lacks the most is in the extremely long intro and outro sections throughout the entire album. You begin to feel as if at least half of the nearly 52 minute record is instrumental. The band has musical talent, but the overwhelmingly long instrumental segments make the album drag and take away from the story they wanted to tell. As an example: "Nightfall," "No Light," and "The First Light of Dawn" all have intros eclipsing the two minute mark, while "Ascension" features a four plus minute outro.

While musically solid, there is nothing new here. The album screams, quite literally, of bands like Underoath and Thrice. When "The Machine Stops" began playing, it seemed that someone had switched the record to an Emery album. This is not to say anything bad about the band, but there are no questions as to where the they draw their musical influence.

Overall, Realis is a solid outing. You are not really going to find anything new musically here, but you will get solid lyrical content that is clearly spiritual in nature. The album is one of hope, but gives no notion that things will be fine all of the time. If you are a fan of the hardcore, emocore, or post-hardcore scenes these guys just might be for you. Fans can also look for them at the 2010 Cornerstone Festival.

- Review date: 4/12/10, written by Michael Weaver of Jesusfreakhideout.com


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JFH Staff's Second Opinion



Realis is a great black mess, but with a shining epicenter. It's where despair meets the will to go on. While sharing musical stylings of Underoath's milder lapses from intensity and similar vocals to Inhale Exhale, A Hope For Home takes some of what fans already like about this type of melodic metal and twist it into what they love. Some people may blame this album for lack of original material, but there is a lot of evident passion in the music. None of the band members are killing themselves trying to play like metal madmen, but that's just what this style asks for. It's emotionally intense, but technically relaxed. This is a good album to fall asleep to. Not in the sense that it's boring, but that the way the dark guitars wash over the simple drum beats is practical and tranquil in a sound enveloping way. No one is going to pull out Realis to bang their heads, but many will be able to close their eyes and enjoy real, honest spirit within it. Once you can appreciate the acquirable taste that AHFH has worked into this album, it is very enjoyable. - Wayne Reimer

 

. Record Label: Facedown Records
. Album length: 12 tracks: 51 minutes, 53 seconds
. Street Date: March 30, 2010
. Buy It: iTunes
. Buy It: Amazon.com

  1. Nightfall (4:18)
  2. The Overman (3:06)
  3. Withering Branches (3:40)
  4. The Machine Stops (4:05)
  5. No Light (4:38)
  6. Post Tenebras Lux (5:53)
  7. First Light Of Dawn (4:24)
  8. The Crippling Fear (4:08)
  9. The Warmth Of The Heavens (2:16)
  10. Seasons (5:06)
  11. Ascension (6:36)
  12. After (3:43)
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