Sound — 10
When I heard Hopesfall was coming out with another studio album after a three year hiatus, I almost soiled myself from excitement. And I will honestly say the wait was worth it, this album is absolutely amazing. I was so worried that they would disappoint me again like they did with A-Types, (which is a good album, but definitely could use some work on a few things) but they totally nailed it. The thing about this album I love most is you can see the maturity in Hopesfall's music sky rocket compared to their previous albums. A-Types had more of a Grunge/Alternative feel, incorporating more guitar driven songs with not as much melody as their previous albums. But in Magnetic North, you can see how much Hopesfall have grown as musicians. The instrumentals are 10 times better than A-Types, the lyrics still have that mysterious but still relatable feel to them, and Jay Forrest's vocals have only gotten better with each album. He trows some raspy screams back into the mix every once in awhile, they're not exactly "Satilite Years" screams, but they fit the music, perfectly. Another thing you notice is they brought back "the interlude," one of the best features Hopesfall brang with "Satilite Years." (Redshift, Andromeda) The transition between songs is out standing, especially between "Cubic Zirconias are Forever" and "I Can do this on an Island." Which is one of the shorter songs on the album, but by far the most emotional. Something that did catch me off guard was how long Magnetic North is, past efforts maxed out with 10 songs each around 40 minutes or so, but Magnetic North hits up to 13 songs that avergae out in 4 or 5 minutes each, making the album almost an hours worth of sweet goodness. Some songs that really stand out seem to be "Swamp Kittens," "Rx Conteder the Pretender," "Head General Hospital," Paisley," "Devil's Concubine," and "Bird Flu." Like I said, this album was definitely worth the wait for more music from Hopesfall.
Lyrics — 7
I was a little taken back by the lyrics this time around, they seem to be a lot more mysterious then ever. Normally with any Hopesfall album you hear "that moment" in each song, where you find yourself reading along with the lyric booklet and humming the melodies to yourself like a damn fool. But sadly enough, there aren't as many moments as I would of liked in Magnetic North. The lyrics almost seem like at times, Jay Forrest tried to re-write samples of "Satilite Years" for this album, and struggled to do so. Though there are a few songs with some very meaningful lyrics, they're hard to follow most of the time. Jay Forrest is an amazing writer, but I definitely wish that the lyrics weren't as cheesy as they were.
Overall Impression — 9
If you're a long time Hopesfall fan like I am, you'll have somewhat of a personal bias towards their older material rather than their new. But this album made me respect Hopesfall even more than before, as impossible as that sounds. (haha) But honestly, comparing this album to any other album besides A-Types would be ridiculous, just because they've changed so much since their early days of Progressive post-hardcore. Yeah, their old stuff is absolutely incredible, some of the best stuff I have ever heard from any band, but I have a different kind of respect for this album. I couldn't really explain fully, or comprehend why, but there's this weird feeling I get when listening to this album throughout. (And it's a good feeling) If this album was stolen, I would definitely buy it again, without question. So go buy it if you havn't already, you could use the eargasms.