In making melodic hardcore, one special ingredient to this formula would be the passion behind it. Colorado quartet Altars
is a group that really knows its way around applying this to their music. Founded in 2010 from Colorado Springs, they started out with an EP "Opposition" the same year under Strike First
Records (In The Midst Of Lions
, Ark Of The Covenant
). Afterwards, they upgraded to Facedown Records (For Today
, A Plea For Purging
, Impending Doom
) and released their first full-length in 2011 called "Conclusions." Next
up would be "Something More
," the band's second full-length album. Though it doesn't reach perfection, there is much to like for how energetic and powerful the music is.
" is completely made up of melodic anthem hardcore, and it is carried out well. The strength of this album, as stated earlier, is how soulful and energetic it is in both sound and mood. The record is equipped with a good number of potent melodies, brought by both the vocal and guitar work. Speaking of which, the musicianship is a tad basic for the hardcore genre, but it is performed great nonetheless. This is especially the case with the vocals, where both the screamed and clean sides have a lot of aggression and effort without sounding strained. The speed of the drum work makes the music more enticing, and the mixing sounds crisp but still quite explosive. In terms of the music itself, as stated earlier, there is some powerful energy that makes it more enjoyable and catchy. Highlights include "Question
Everything," one of the heavier tracks of the album that definitely could stir up a mosh pit rather quickly, and "To Give," which opens with a very heartfelt children's choir before exploding into a fast-paced melodic track. The album has a lot of uplifting and invigorating tunes in it, and it ultimately the core of what makes it so likable.
However, while this album is solid as a whole, it appears to consist of two halves where one is better than the other. The first half is the superior portion, because in terms of mood and speed, it does have a bit more of variety to it. It can touch both on the lighter, melodic side of hardcore (Something More
) and on the heavier realm (Question
Everything). As for the second half of the tracklist, while still enjoyable, does get repetitive, in terms of between the songs and the songs themselves. The majority of the tracks, if not all of them, is just positive-toned melodic music that tend to sound overly similar, and it does get a tad monotonous. Despite
this, though, this second segment is still decent, and even contains "To Give," one of the best tracks off the album, and other memorable quirks. Overall, it isn't that the second half is bad or mediocre, but the first half does turn out the better segment.
other praiseworthy elements of this album are the album artwork and the lyrics. The front cover, illustrated by Facedown Records artist Dave Quiggle, is very simple, but it does have a lot of character to it. The unity of the crowd depicted in the artwork, consisting of the band members, a firefighter, an Anonymous member, a soldier, a businessman, and many others, speaks for itself, and it really matches the energy behind the music. On top of that, the lyrics are very good as well. While obviously Christian-based, the music doesn't refer too much to the faith, but rather the necessity of love, passion, and generosity within society. The best example of this is the track "Westboro." It would have been so easy to slam at a corrupt religious institute and its practices. Instead, the band takes an intriguing approach to this situation, choosing love instead of hatred to lead a good life. Things like this prove that the lyrics in this record are written well.
" is a very pleasurable hardcore release. While the sound is nothing very new in light of melodic hardcore music, it is performed greatly. The tracks are generally quite memorable and powerful, and they do a very decent job of stretching between melodic and heavier tunes, although the majority of the songs are under the latter category. The record demonstrates plenty of passion behind both the music and the lyrics. Although seekers of the innovative will likely be disappointed here, longtime Altars
fans and melodic hardcore and even rock fans will likely enjoy this. "Something More
" is a solid album that puts the heart in hardcore.
Originally posted on: http://metaljerky.blogspot.com/