The Antlers – Hospice


Artist

Album

Hospice

Label

Frenchkiss Records

Year

2009

Genre

For Fans Of

Grizzly Bear, Deerhunter, Cymbals Eat Guitars

Summary

The Antlers’ sophomore concept album is both a gentle and devastating tug at the heart strings.

Rating

78 / 100

Reign Supreme are one of the most exciting new bands in hardcore. Led by former Blacklisted member Jay Pepito, the band has accomplished a lot in their fairly short existence.

When I first heard the song "Slipping Away" on the Deathwish "MMIX Spring Sampler" earlier in the year, I knew this album would be something to look out for. The opening track "Mother Superior sets the standard for the rest of the album to come. The riffs are fast and heavy, there are gang vocals a plenty and Pepito’s voice is crushing. The riff at the end of the song is sure to send a few dudes mental in the pit. The next song "Saving Grace" kicks off in a similar fashion. The song features guest vocals by Travis of This Is Hell and Rob from A Life Once Lost. The multiple vocals in the song give it a bit more variety.

The main riff in "Apostle" will make you want to get up and punch the person sitting next to you in the face. This song also featured on the band’s American Violence EP, but it is on a whole another level on this recording.

The instrumental track "Waiting" perfectly breaks up the album before building up into the next song "And Come What May" which is one of the standout tracks of the album. Pepito’s vocals are brutal, and the gang vocals will sure to be a fan favourite in the band’s live performances. The melodic ending gives the song a bit of a kick before it comes to an end.

My favourite song on the album is "Slipping Away". The song kicks off with bouncy riff before Pepito’s vocals take the song to a new level. The guest vocals from Comeback Kid’s Andrew Neufeld bring a great vocal dynamic to the song between himself and Pepito. I can see the breakdown at the end of the song being thrashed out on many guitars across the world.

The closing track "A Ghost In The City" closes the album in a similar fashion to the songs before it. Fast, heavy and Pepito’s vocals are stunning.

The production by Will Putney at The Machine Shop (Every Time I Die, Lamb Of God, Haste The Day) is absolutely massive. I challenge you to find a better sounding album released this year.

Conclusion

Concept albums are normally difficult to comprehend, but ‘Hospice’ really succeeds in telling a story and taking the audience along with it for the ride. 

Tracklisting

  1. Prologue
  2. Kettering
  3. Sylvia
  4. Atrophy
  5. Bear
  6. Thirteen
  7. Two
  8. Shiva
  9. Wake
  10. Epilogue

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