The Blackout – Hope


Artist

Album

Hope

Label

Cooking Vinyl Records

Year

2011

Genre

For Fans Of

You Me At Six - Architects

Summary

No risks, just a solid record.

Rating

70 / 100

The widely anticipated record ‘Hope’ is The Blackout’s third full-length album and it is somewhat hard to think that these Welsh lads are already on their third full-length, still seen as relatively new to the scene, this record is the follow up to the very successful ‘Best In Town’. Not moving to far away from their original sound, this band has definitely learnt a thing or two in the last two years since their last release.

Opening track ‘Ambition is Critical’ is a familiar sound, The Blackout‘s unique style of post-hardcore isn’t entirely lost in this new record, they are sticking to their guns and although this album has shown that they have matured musically in the last two years since ‘Best In Town’, they haven’t moved very far away from the sound the fans love. And I can see ‘Ambition Is Critical’ as a permanent fixture on their live set list with its catchy chorus and up tempo beat with the ability to make crowds move.

Never By Your Side’ speeds things up a bit, opening with Sean Smith‘s heavy vocals, this song has more of a scream/sing feel as opposed to its predecessor. One of the more heavier songs on the record is followed by lead single ‘Higher and Higher‘ featuring a slightly unexpected rap delivered by Hyro De Hero (who?). I can see why this was chosen as the lead single, possessing the ability to make crowds go crazy and in current times when records don’t make as much as they previously did, It seems like The Blackout have filled this record with potentially great live songs. With saying that, like a lot of bands, The Blackout has always been much better live.

What’s a rock album without a rock ballad, and The Blackout have a few to chose from on this album, ‘Hope (Sing It Loud)’ and ‘Last Goodbye’ lack the heavier screamo side of The Blackout and sees Sean Smith swaps his screams for smooth singing, although it is evident that his voice has grown since the last two albums, I believe that when he is teamed with the more capable Gavin Butler, Smith is better off just sticking with screaming. The Tempo kicks back up with ‘This Is Our Time’ and ‘The Devil Inside’ putting Smith back into his element. Ending this album is ‘The Storm’, yet another stadium rock anthem and another crowd pleaser with the chanting ‘‘don’t tear us apart’’ sure to make an appearance on their set list. The Blackout hasn’t done anything overly groundbreaking with ‘Hope’, but they have stuck to their guns and put out a record that they know that their fans will love.

Conclusion

Quite a lot softer than their debut album ‘We Are The Dynamite’, third release ‘Hope’ is more melodic, and in those four years since its release The Blackout have slowly grown and evolved into the band they are today. This album is still The Blackout; they haven’t moved too far away from their roots but have played a safe card with this one, no risks, no danger just a solid record.

Tracklisting

1. Ambition Is Critical
2. Never By Your Side
3. Higher & Higher" (feat. Hyro da Hero)
4. Hope (Scream It Out Loud)
5. This Is Our Time
6. The Last Goodbye"
7. No More Waiting
8. The Devil Inside
9. You’re Not Alone
10. Keep on Moving
11. The Storm

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