Hopefall’s third release, The Satellite Years, is powerful and grating one minute, and beautiful and alluring the next. So goes the dichotomy of emotions that pulse through the album from start to finish, like an addict trying to find balance by alternating uppers and downers.
But unlike the scattered life of a junkie, Hopefall’s chaos is a carefully considered orchestration brought to life by intermittent arpeggios that melt into blistering breakdowns and vocalist Jay Forrest’s guttural howls. It’s hardcore for the emo age, prompting some to label the band’s sound as “screamo.”
Although distinctly different than Jane’s Addiction, Hopesfall has managed to capture a range of emotions in the way that Perry and Co. did with songs like “Three Days” and “Then She Did…” The songs on The Satellite Years alternate from mesmerizing to maniacal, and in doing so, give listeners an idea of what it might be like if Pantera got together with The Cure circa Disintegration. Odd mix, to be sure, but it works for the most part.
While Hopesfall has defined its sound, it does so at the expense of confining it and limiting listeners to just one experience. One gets the sense that they’ve been careful not to deviate too far from their core or experiment with the model in the slightest. Their music certainly lends itself to multiple experiences, so hopefully Hopesfall will allow themselves a little more freedom the next time around.