Friday, April 20, 2012

Album Review: State Faults - Desolate Peaks

Album Rating: A
As a whole, hardcore has kind of stagnated.  It's true.  Even hardcore-heroes Defeater noted it, saying "There's a prevalent thing in this genre where if you're not doing what hardcore bands have been doing for the last 25 years almost verbatim, you're fucking up."  And for all the excellent releases that we have seen this past few years, there's no denying that there is some validity to Jay Maas' statement.  But every so often an album comes along that reminds us why we fell in love with the genre to begin with; a sense of  escape from a world that tells us what music should be, but not what it can be.  We are reminded that music can be angst ridden, disonant, angry, and noisy, but at the same time, starkly beautiful.  Introducing the first record under the State Faults moniker, Desolate Peaks.

Despite the lofty paragraph above, Desolate Peaks does not reinvent the wheel, nor does it try.  It exists in a place where bloggers and critics don't exist, where genre tags aren't the judge of content.  Instead, the album exists on its own terms.  It's a perfectly produced slice of hardcore that contains more passion than that of half the band's  nameless and faceless peers. While not expressly melodic, the album does have a lot of melodic instrumentation.  Screams are higher pitched and agonized, somewhat in the vein of Ampere. However, instrumentation has more in common with early 2000's screamo.  The kind that focused more on atmosphere rather than choas.  It's a wonderful mixture, and it goes a long way in giving the album a sound all its own.

One could drone on and one as too why this album is a clear winner, but that would be beyond the point.  Albums like Desolate Peaks are they kind that need to be heard, not read about.  So do yourself a favor and get one of this year's most incredible hardcore releases.


Track List

1. Sleepwalker
2. Cities
3. Arrowhead
4. Shiver
5. Faultlines
6. Wayfarer
7. Teeth And Bones
8. Sleeptalker
9. Hallways
10. Vespers
11. Skeletons

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