Ignite And Rebuild is not a bad album. However, it's not a good album, either. It's not generic, but it's far from pushing the envelope. Life In Your Way won't lose any fans with this release, but they also won't change the skeptics' minds. So where does that stick Ignite And Rebuild? Yes, you guessed it: Smack dab in the middle of the pack.
...And So Our Time Is Endless was an above average hardcore debut for the young Connecticut natives, and, as evident in my review of it, had left me somewhat excited for the future of these upstarts. Right out of the gates, "Hope Is War" signals that not much has changed; technical riffs and passionate screams were still abundant, and they still sound pretty good, if not a tad disjointed. As time and the album progresses, however, I notice certain red flags throughout the album. Songs begin to blend together, guitar parts begin to sound like pieces written by other bands (track three, "Threads Of Sincerity," starts out with a riff stolen straight out of Fordirelifesake's playbook*), and bridges in each song get mellower and mellower, plagued with sickeningly cheesy singing and lyrics. It's not until the end of the album (more specifically, the final three tracks) where I really began to feel impressed. Unfortunately, as well all know, the end of an album isn't the most opportune time to start playing well.
What sets the last third of the album apart is the straightforward nature of the songs and more focus on speed and overall sound than precision and technicality. "When Rules Change" screams With Honor (which is not a bad thing), and "The Change" ends the album quickly as a sub-two minute scorcher with a quasi-epic finale. However, to be cliché, it's too little, too late for Life In Your Way. The middle of the album feels about three hours long, and track two, "Light Is Mine," is so painstakingly horrible that you seem to forget the high points of Ignite And Rebuild.
This album starts well and ends well, but is brought down with a sluggish midsection. With some tweaking, and maybe a listen or two to their old (and ultimately better) debut album, Life In Your Way could produce a rather surprising hardcore effort. Until then, we're stuck with Ignite And Rebuild, which isn't a bad album, but certainly won't turn any heads either. Better luck next time.
* - I'm having trouble remembering which Fordirelifesake song bears the riff of which I'm speaking, since I'm at work and haven't listened to the album in a while; "Just A Memory," perhaps?
- "Hope Is War"
- "When Rules Change"
- "The Change"