Sound — 8
Beloved broke up before it's time. The awesome mix of post-hardcore, emo, and hardcore was just awesome. Luckily for us, Solid State records released The Running, the EP that was recorded before the first and only full length by the band, Failure On. The original version of the EP came out in 2001, while guitarist/vocalist Josh Moore was still in high school. In 2003, it was remixed and a never-before-released song, Into Your Arms, was slapped on as a bonus to the 5 songs that were already there. This CD captures Beloved as a band that was quickly maturing into the music heard on Failure On. On The Running, you can definitely tell where the band was headed musically, but you can also tell that the time between the original recording of this album and Failure On was much needed to flesh out their sound. I guess you could call Beloved either a post-hardcore or emocore band, but that would be to restrictive of their sound. They do combine elements of emo, punk, hardcore, and hard rock into their mix, and on The Running, these aforementioned elements are more easy to recognize. With each song you can tell what part was was influence by what style of music, where as in Failure On, all of these elements were blended smoothly into the mix. The songs on here have some awesome, fist-pumping moments, and also some blah moments as well. The good far out weighs the bad, however. One of the best highlights of the album is the chorus on Before There Was You, There Was Everything. You will have it stuck in your head for days. The music on the EP is much stronger and more fleshed-out than the average rock/hardcore band found on every high school and college campus in the nation. These guys knew what they were doing, for sure. Even as an unsigned band, they still sound much better than a lot of the bands that are touring on the pro hardcore circuit these days. Still, as a whole, this still seems a step or two behind Failure On. Still, if you like Beloved or post-hardcore whatever rock you want to call it, you should pick this up.
Lyrics — 8
Much like the music, the lyrics and vocals on this album are just a step behind Failure On. The vocals are still Josh Moore covering the singing and Joe Musten covering the heavy screams as well as drumming. He is a very talented man. Anyway, Josh's vocals are definitely not as developed as Failure On, but that is to be expected. He definitely got much stronger as a vocalist. Musten's screams are good, in fact, he pretty much sounds the same on both records. The lyrics are constantly pointing to Christ in both subtle and profound ways, such as in the song Going Through The Motions, with lines such as "Only you can start this fire in my heart". The lyrics are strong and poetic. Definitely a high point to the album.
Overall Impression — 8
Overall, this is an excellent album to add to your collection. It is nice to take a look into this bands past, and, unlike some bands who have had a very rough time musically getting to the pro level, you will actually thoroughly enjoy most of the record. It is a release no Beloved fan can go without. Some parts may be spotty, but as a whole, this is definitely worth it. Even though this band is broken up, they still prove they deserve your attention. It is just too bad that they disbanded so early in their career. Two of the members are now in Dead Poetic, and the other three are in a band called Advent. Maybe someday their will be a reunion, but until then, get a copy of this CD and enjoy listening to it.