Rise And Fall are one of the better hardcore acts currently active in my opinion. In fact I can safely say Our Circle Is Vicious helped jumpstart my interest in the genre. Come 2012 and they're releasing Faith.
These guys don't fuck around.
Some hardcore acts rely on crust or powerviolence elements to amplify their intensity. Rise And Fall however? These guys play their brand of traditional hardcore in a manner that makes some of those "augmented" bands feel pathetic. In the 28-minutes that Faith lasts, Rise And Fall explore an almost angrily melancholic state of intensity. There is a pervading theme of disgusted hopelessness in the way the songs are written and performed. Tracks like "Things Are Different Now" and the plodding "The Gallows Await" are primary examples of this.
For the most part Rise And Fall have always been competent musicians. They once again utilize and emphasize interesting chord changes, proper melodies that stand and grow on the listener, and a strong harmonic base just like they did on Our Circle Is Vicious. The drumwork is typically d-beat and roll focused with a few cool patterns here and there. There are a few more lengthy tracks this time around like "Faith / Fate" and "Breathe" as well as the slow-paced "Things Are Different Now." The only one that feels a bit out of place is "Breathe" which begins with a simple root-note bassline and then chugs along into an uncharacteristically atmospheric break.
The aggression is obviously here as per usual, but it is focused through crystals of apathy and disdain. The band themselves play these emotions out with plenty of gusto, but the theme of the album is far more subdued. "A Hammer And Nails" is a typically aggro introduction that leads into one of the more pissed off tracks on Faith, "Deceiver." Some of the more aggressive tracks like "Escapism" really embody the hopeless feel that I was attempting to describe earlier. That track is an exercise in pent-up rage with catchy melodic overtones dominating the mix. I love it, and the dense guitar tone and production make it more resonant.
Speaking in a general sense, Faith is pretty solid, but like a friend once told me: "If you like one hardcore release, you're likely to enjoy most of them because they all sound the same." It comes with the genre being so stagnant and focused on treading familiar ground, paying homage to past greats. I'm cool with this since I'm still relatively new to hardcore still - but we'll see how long my enthrallment lasts.
7.75 out of 10
1. A Hammer And Nails
3. The Gallows Await
4. Burning At Both Ends
5. Things Are Different Now
7. Hidden Hands
9. Dead Weight