If Hope Dies - The Ground Is Rushing Up To Meet Us (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

If Hope Dies

The Ground Is Rushing Up To Meet Us (2003)


What can I say about metalcore/metal tinged hardcore/breakdown oriented metal/whatever you want to call it that hasn't already been said? Much the glut of skatepunk bands that appeared in the mid-nineties metalcore gives us some great bands, some above average bands, and plenty of throwaway sound-a-likes who will be forgotten when the dust finally settles. I'm beginning to think that I've heard almost anything this genre is going to throw at me, barring some random alpine horn breakdown. If Hope Dies isn't reinventing the wheel, but they show some flashes of brilliance and can write an engaging metalcore song. "The Ground Is Rushing Up To Meet Us" is the band's Ironclad Recordings debut. If you're not aware, Ironclad is run by Trevor Phipps of Unearth, and I can certainly hear a slight resemblance to Unearth here and there.

The first thing that really caught my attention about these guys was the fact the second track is called "Roddy Piper's Magic Sunglasses". The thought of Roddy doing his best windmill during one of this band's earth shattering breakdowns was enough to make me chuckle. However, despite their light heartedness in terms of some their song titles, If Hope Dies tackles serious social issues in their lyrics. The aforementioned track is actually about the way we allow ourselves to be sedated by slick marketing schemes. The music matches the seriousness of the lyrical content, melodic, but at the same time fast, urgent, and of course, heavy. This record is littered with impressive moments and flashes of what the band can do, such as the frantic stop and go action near the end of the fifth track, "A Prayer to Afflict the Comfortable".

Thought provoking, undeniably heavy, and yet melodic enough to say stuck in your head for weeks, If Hope Dies has already carved a nice little niche in the metalcore genre for themselves, but I think this record hints at something more. It may only be a matter of time before this relatively unknown band towers over many of their contemporaries. Anyone who is fan of Unearth and other mosh oriented metalcore should take notice; you're going to like this one.