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.