The Hope Conspiracy - Hang Your Cross (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

The Hope Conspiracy

Hang Your Cross (2006)


When the Hope Conspiracy announced they were going on hiatus in 2004, hardcore came dangerously close to losing one of its most dependable and important bands. While some of the group went on to take part in other musical endevours -- vocalist Kevin Baker sang for Bars and drummer Jarrod Shavelson handles the kit for None More Black -- there was a definite void in the wake of what was assumed by many to be an impending breakup.

Recently though, the Hope Conspiracy have decided to give it one more go. With a full-length record -- Death Knows Your Name -- due shortly, the band decided to treat fans to a sneak peak of sorts. Enter Hang Your Cross, a limited edition 7"/CD EP showcasing what the band might be offering come the September 19th release of Death Knows Your Name.

My only complaint with Hang Your Cross is that it isn't Death Knows Your Name. If the three songs offered up on this EP are any indication, Death Knows Your Name will be the band's best work -- for now, that title rests with Hang Your Cross. The title track alone, which kicks off the record, is a brutal tour de force. Baker's vocals are as strong as they've ever been as he screams his way through the lyrics with blistering intensity. What's more is that the guitars -- provided with a reappearance of Neeraj Kane on guitar along with a new face, Tim Cossar (American Nightmare, Bars) -- offer no remorse to the listener as they tear through at breakneck speed and force, stopping only for a brutal breakdown.

The other two songs on Hang Your Cross are "Dead Town Nothing" and "Eurohell," the latter of which speeds through in under a minute. While they hold their own and still showcase the development of the band (who hadn't been playing together in years), they can't match what the title track has to offer.

A review of Hang Your Cross can't go by without mention of the album's artwork. The 7" version was limited to a press of 2,000, of which there are four colour variations of 500 each where the screened covers match the multi-coloured vinyl. The art was put together by Burlesque Design and is probably going to be sold out by the time this sentence is complete. If you can, grab one.

Welcome back Hope Conspiracy.