As Hope Dies - Birthplace And Burial Site (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

As Hope Dies

Birthplace And Burial Site (2002)


Wow, this is pretty brutal. This CD is basically black/death metal with very little hardcore influence. But for being as harsh as it is, it's still somehow really catchy.

This EP starts off with a little soundscape and piano piece that wouldn't sound out of place on an industrial album. It's pretty odd, but somehow it lulls you into relaxation. But don't get too relaxed, because soon, the piece is broken by the EP's title track.

First let me say, that this band's drummer is amazing. He's play insanely fast yet somehow manages to be smooth and well timed. Machine gun double bass rolls and blastbeats that could put a thrash drummer to shame are par for course on this album.

As for the guitarists, they're doing the melodic metal thing. Yes, this has been done before, but I'll be damned if they don't do it really well. It's hard to believe how young these guys are(only one band member is old enough to buy beer, well legally anyway). They fly through songs like "Awaken" and "Birthplace And Burial Site" with reckless abandon, it makes my fingers hurt just thinking about trying to play these songs. When the band chooses to slow down a little,(To Mend A Wound Plagued Heart) the guitars remain extremely techincal. I should also mention that slow is a relative term on this release, since everything else blow by faster than Snow's(come on, someone has to remember this guy!) career.

While many bands playing this style of music tend to scream in a style that pundits have compared to the Cookie Monster(even though the singers for some of their favorite bands sound like Elmo), David of As Hope Dies has taken a bit of different route. He's decided to do the black metal thing, and surprisingly, it works. I've never been a black metal fan, but this vocal style sounds great against this musical background. Unfortunately the vocals also produce my only real problem with this EP. The singing, oh the singing. It's very rare, but when it doesn't work (at the end of the final track, "Letters of Our Existance") it really doesn't work. I think what disappoints me so much about this is that in the band's early recordings, the singing parts sounded amazing. I know they didn't like the fact that some of the more melodic parts sounded, dare I say, emo, but they couldve left them alone on this release. With that said, the singing isn't bad on any other track and it's so rare that you probably won't notice, or care.

Let it also be said that this 6 song(including the intro) EP is longer than alot of full lengths I have. If you like your metalcore heavy on the metal and light on the core, check these guys out. I'd also recommend this for Shai Hulud fans, because on the rare ocassion that this band breaks into a more hardcore sound, Shai Hulud is probably the closest comparison.