Hardcore is one of those genres that tends to be a bit hit-and-miss – either the band is excellent, or they’re downright terrible. Thankfully, Hope in Hell’s self-titled EP falls in the former category. For the most part, Hope in Hell has an excellent high-energy vibe – while there are a few subdued parts, the EP absolutely thunders along. Simon Mazzei’s drumming is excellent, too – listening to the EP on high volume, it’s like getting punched in the face repeatedly.
That’s not to say that the rest of the band aren’t up to standard, though. Guitarist Troy Power pumps out riffs that wouldn’t sound out of place on an In Flames album, supported by frontman Scott Curtis’ excellent vocal work and Adam Turcato’s thudding basslines. Track 3, ‘Oscillate’, is something of a curve ball – it’s much slower than the other tracks, and the first minute features only light guitar and an audio sample of philosopher Jiddu Krishnamurti. It’s a much more progressive track – Curtis’ vocals don’t even come in until the 2:20 mark – and breaks up the EP well.
I have to admit, generally I’m not a fan of hardcore – I find that blast-beating drums over and over makes for a bland listening experience – but Hope in Hell has that perfect mix of overdrive, thudding drums and energy, and has certainly made its mark. It’s an excellent debut, and I’m itching to hear what the band can come up with. Definitely worth your time!
By Alastair McGibbon