There has been quite a lot of hype building over Italian post hardcore metal band Hopes Die Last since their formation in 2004, especially after their debut album Six Years Home of 2009, though to be fair even with their previous couple of EP’s Aim For Tomorrow (2005) and Your Face Down Now (2007) they were gathering strong interest and responses. With their second album Trust No One due for release via Standby Records on February 14th the buzz surrounding them has intensified but are they worthy and is the new album as staggering as many are claiming?
The simple answer is pretty much so, Trust No One is outstanding. To say the band is the future of post hardcore or metal is stretching things but as a release the album is a vibrant, irrepressible and deeply satisfying release. Hope Die Last have created a release that is relentless, with crushing riffs, senses scorching melodies, and high octane energy driving its heart, it excites and impresses. The album also comes with a defined intent to explore and diversity within itself and individual tracks which though it is not always completely successful is a highly commendable direction giving intrigue and unpredictability to each song.
The album as a whole is not groundbreaking but it is certainly is more adventurous and unique in thought than most other post hardcore releases. Trust No One offers something different and surprising throughout. At times these intentions work better than at other moments but there is never a song that one thinks ‘heard that before’ or easily loses focus within. From the opening explosion that is ‘Never Trust The Hazel Eyed’ to the imaginative if less successful closer ‘Keep Your Hands Off’ the album rumbles and swaggers with confidence and eagerness. The opening track is aggressive and smoothly melodic, the band finding the perfect blend allowing both avenues to expand seamlessly alongside each other. Post hardcore, metal, industrial and elements of melodic hardcore rage within its skin and with the excellent vocals of Daniele Tofan backed equally by those of bassist Marco “Becko” Calanca, their combination of gut bursting ferociousness and a smoothly flowing clean attack impressive, the song is impossible to deny or avoid getting swept up in its energy.
The harsher ‘Sidney Shown’ and brutal power of ‘Unleash Hell’ raise the intensity and quality further, the latter of the two a brutal beast that pummels with agonistic riffs spewing from the of guitars Marco Mantovani and Luigi Magliocca and gladiatorial rhythms from drummer Ivan Panella. At times the track thrusts some electro inspired bestiality as found in the likes of The Browning into the fray without ever decreasing the bludgeoning of the ear, even the clean vocals cannot diminish the intensity.
As mentioned Hopes Die Last admirably bring diversity to each track to make the album constantly intriguing within the sweltering heat from its blistering tracks. ‘Life After Me Life After You’ offers a softer passion fuelled touch to the power whilst ‘Bill’s Got Only A Pair Of Queens’ carries distinct harmonies that dazzle over the insurgent riffs and directness beneath, and there is also the piano led ballad ‘The Same Old Fears’ which brings a respite to the aggression, all showing the thought and creativity from the band to offer something different.
Rivalling ‘Never Trust The Hazel Eyed’ and ‘Unleash Hell’ for best track is ‘Air Raid Siren’. The song is a caustic violation of the senses, its incessant riffs and acidic guitars alongside a great moody bassline wonderfully numbs the ear. The clean vocals and scorched melodies are as damaging as the assaultive barrage of power. It is a gem and these three tracks alone make the album worth a visit but Trust No One has much more to offer and all impressive. Even the cover of the Katy Perry song ‘Fireworks’ is more than agreeable.
Trust No One is an excellent release and brings a fresh breath to post hardcore. Hopes Die Last has not opened up new avenues for the genre but has given it food for thought. The album may not hit deep enough to end up on album of the year lists come December but it will certainly make the months up to a decision thoroughly enjoyable and energetic with constant revisits.