At first listen, Italian band Hopes Die Last could easily be categorized as screamo and just left at that. Hell, my first playthrough of their new album, Trust No One, had me thinking this. But then I spun it a second time and new elements started peeking out from behind the curtains. Touches of alt-rock? Check. How about electronica and even dubstep? Yuppers. But do all of these elements combine into a solid package or do they try to tear themselves free from each other, striving for the spotlight?
Opening with Never Trust The Hazel Eyed, the album starts with high energy, fun use of panning and mixing, and features a breakdown that is actually incredibly fun in the context of the song. Playing with tempos, alternating between screamed and sung vocals, this song definitely sets the stage for the rest of the album.
The next track, Sidney Shown, sounds like there is a great deal of influence from Coheed and Cambria, especially in how the vocals and guitars play off each other. It also follows a very similar structure to many Coheed songs.
From a production aspect, this album brings a great deal to pay attention to. There are several guitar tones, ranging from clean to overdriven to distorted to heavily effected. The drums are powerful and the cymbals sound crisp and tight. There is also a satisfying low end thanks to a well-mixed bass and some deep synths. The vocals are, as stated above, a mix of screamed, growled, and sung. Lastly, the album makes heavy use of electronics, so expect to hear a great deal of variety in the background.
The band does a cover of Katy Perry’s Firework, which begins much the same as the original before quickly changing to a sound that befits the band a great deal more. While in the end it’s nothing special, it’s still an enjoyable song.
The final track, Keep Your Hands Off, which features Nesko, can only be likened to Korn’s recent album, The Path Of Totality. The mashup of electronic/dubstep/metal is a great deal of fun and can probably do a lot of damage were one to put it on a large sound system.
The Final Word: At the end of the day, Hopes Die Last’s Trust No One is a great deal of fun.
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