Sparkle of Hope - It's Calculated Murder! (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Sparkle of Hope

It's Calculated Murder! (2006)

Fun Time

When it comes to mixing hardcore and metal, it's really easy for a band to ruin everything while attempting to add some melody into the mix. Sparkle of Hope come really close a few times on It's Calculated Murder!, but manage to come through clean and have made a great record by straddling that line.

Forming the foundation of the band's debut full-length, It's Calculated Murder!, are pummeling double-bass drums and driving metal guitars. Yves' vocals tend to mostly center around the better aspects of metal and hardcore styles, although he occasionally slips into growls that seem out of place amongst some of the more atmospheric moments on the disc. Without question, the most impressive aspect of It's Calculated Murder! is the guitar work, which straight-up shreds through the entire ride.

Together since 2000, the band took some considerable time to craft this release. In doing so they seemed to have taken some cues from bands such as Alexisonfire, although they don't employ as much of a soft side as seen in their Canadian counterparts.

Apart from occasional misplaced growls, It's Calculated Murder! is a promising debut from a band who has managed to avoid clichés and create an album that is heavy, melodic, and completely enjoyable.

And for those paying attention, Mike Bukowski did the artwork, and it's sweet.