Know Hope review by The Color Morale

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  • Released: Mar 26, 2013
  • Sound: 10
  • Lyrics: 6
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 8.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.1 (33 votes)
The Color Morale: Know Hope

Sound — 10
The Color Morale started as a post-hardcore band. The same kind of sound that bands such as Oceana and such went for, however with a hint of a progressive aspect taken from Misery Signals. They pulled this off pretty well on their debut album, "We All Have Demons". Their second album, "My Devil In Your Eyes" had some of that same influence, however was a much more Metalcore based album. Their third album, "Know Hope", is without a doubt, their best effort yet. The first half of the album is very reminiscent of "MDIYE". Very heavy, hardcore based, slightly progressive music. Songs such as "Living Breathing Something" include no clean vocals from Garret Rapp, which is a first. The second half of the album includes songs much more like "WAHD". Songs such as "Never Enders" or "Saviorself" include soaring clean guitar passages with that same Misery Signals influence that was on their first album. Steve Carey's drumming is phenomenal as always. While Ramon Mendoza no longer tours with the band, he still wrote with them, and Justin Heiser moved back to bass after they found another fill in guitarist giving them a team of 4 guitarists writing and playing on this album. While their are no solos on this album, the ambient leads and clean guitar parts on this album are fantastic.

Lyrics — 6
Being a guitarist, I never listen much to lyrics in songs. After hearing their first album I changed that mentality. The lyrics that Garret writes are usually amazing. Usually. While the first album showed off Garret's soaring clean vocals but generally difficult to interpret lyrics, and the second album showed more focus on great lyric writing (especially one-liners), "Know Hope" had neither of these. Lines like, "I am not afraid to die, I am terrified of life," or, "Coward, speak for yourself" are terrific lines screamed with such energy on former albums, but "Know Hope" doesn't have the same lyrical punch. The addition of mid ranged screams instead of lows also changes the lyrics impact. The only stand out lyric on this album for me would have to be from the song "Learned Behavior". The lines, "sometimes its good to build up walls, not to keep anyone out, but to see who cares enough to knock them down" are the only memorable phrase of lyrics after 2 or 3 listens through of this album. However, these lyrics are full of hope, which puts them miles ahead of most other bands in this genre's hateful lyrics.

Overall Impression — 9
After a few listens through of this album, I feel as though they took the best aspects of "MDIYE" and "WAHD" to create a great progressive post-hardcore album. This album could be compared to Of Mice & Men meets Misery Signals. Stand out tracks would have to be "Living Breathing Something", "Steadfast", "Saviorself", "Have.Will", and "Never Enders". These songs include the most melodic, and some of the heaviest passages of music I've ever heard in the Post-Hardcore/Metalcore genre. Obviously this album won't be for everyone. But any fan of these genres will love this album. If this album were stolen, I would instantly buy another copy.

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21 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Been cranking this album up ever since they leaked tracks off Youtube. Great stuff. I was never a fan of their previous material but this album hits home. Garret is just vocally so much better all around on this.
    I listened to about half of the stream and bought it. Never even listened to them before, but this album sounds awesome. Seen a lot of people complaining about the vocals, but having not been a fan I guess, I like them.
    Darkness in Zero
    Normally, I dislike any Rise Records band...and I used to not really like this band at all. A friend of mine showed me this album yesterday though. Holy **** is it good! The cleans are excellent, the screams are very reminiscent of Stray from the Path, and the guitar work isn't that bad! Definitely improved from their old sound, and stands out from the other Rise-core bands. "Smoke and Mirrors" and "Learned Behavior" will be stuck in your head.
    Rise-core = the kind of metalcore that should've never existed. Sorry, but it's the truth. Love KSE and As I Lay Dying, not this...
    Loving the whole writing off bands because of the record label that they're on. It's a new, cuddly degree of shallow. Also, thanks for the whole "Sorry, but it's the truth" line, because that makes it so much easier to write off your opinion.
    Sam Rulez D00d
    Well to be fair, most new metalcore bands on Rise Records are pretty bad. A lot of them just leech off of each other and do the same things over and over again. The label as a whole tends to sign a ton of bands (regardless of quality or talent) in hopes that at least one of them will get big and make them a ton of money.
    That's what I mean. A lot of Rise bands are pratically the same...the only rise band I actually listen to and like is Miss May I...becasue they actually use lead guitar. Unlike the junkyard that are bands like Woe, is me or Issues. Don't get me wrong...I love metalcore, but we need a change in it. Maybe less breakdowns and break-up songs and more lead guitar and lyrics about quantum physics.
    Memphis May Fire and Of Mice & Men use lead guitar too and I think theyre fairly tight bands. Whats wrong with The Color Morale? They have lead guitar as well. Woe Is Me is terrible though.
    Woe Is Me and Issues are pretty much trash but Rise does have a lot of good bands too. I think they all tend to sound the same because all of them are either produced by Joey Sturgis or Cameron Mizell. Too many albums running through the same producer can sterilize the material.
    I think that term is pretty stereotypical. I think theres a bit of talent on Rise believe it or not (I know, hard to believe).
    I absolutely love it, unfortunately my local HMV didn't have it so I'm going to have to keep an eye out for it.
    If you've never seen these guys live, I strongly suggest you do. They put on such an energetic and intimate show (Garret spends more time in the audience letting his family sing than he does it himself) and they are seriously the nicest and most genuine people I've ever met through music. Solid review, this is a great album!
    Sam Rulez D00d
    I love the vocals, but the rest of it is a huge step backward for TCM. A lot of it is really generic, but there are some good moments.
    really you think so? cuz i think that saviorself, holehearted, and never enders are like the best songs theyve ever done (excluding close your eyes and look away of course.)
    Sam Rulez D00d
    I don't know, I've heard a lot of music that sounds like those songs. The two stand outs for me were Smoke and Mirrors & Silver Lining. I don't think the over-production helped them either.
    well its obviously no debate that the intro of Saviorself is right from Intake from volumes, but those songs are basically straight hardcore almost. its just a different genre i think anyway
    Sam Rulez D00d
    I just miss their guitar work, honestly. I remember trying to learn every song off their previous albums the second after I listened to them because the guitar parts were so cool and different. But with this one, not a lot of it interests me
    No one's probably going to read this now but I just got done playing some parts to these songs on guitar from this album, and I am HIGHLY disappointed. I never knew how generic their stuff was. I'll give them the good use of keyboards, but now that I've given this album a more unbiased listen, it's nothing new, nothing original. The synths overpower some songs to the point where the guitar work can be classified as meh-core. The lyrics are outstanding though, but it's not enough for me to love this album. After that outcome and finding that the only worthy tracks are Strange Comfort, and Nerve Endings, this album is a 6/10 for me now in case anyone cares.
    im sorry you feel that way. but really? strange comfort? in my opinion that's the most generic song on the album.