Italy seems to have a pretty prominent alternative rock influence these days, with bands like Tasters coming through and getting pretty big breaks, and of course there’s Lacuna Coil. Vatican City post-hardcore band Hopes Die Last, are certainly on the verge of following suit, having already played some pretty big shows, and their distinctive accessible sound looks to be taking them far.
Opener, ‘Never Trust The Hazel Eyed’, pretty much explains everything this band is about; heavy and aggressive screaming, contrasting some Pierce The Veil-esque cleans, metal sounding riffs and a typically post-hardcore drumbeat. Melodic, catchy hooks play the part here, and unlike most other bands who try pair polar opposite vocals, nothing seems forced here. We even hear and almost demonic spoken vocals in the last third of this song. It almost feels like a whole EP squeezed into one tune, and it feels rather unnaturally natural.
This is an album full of stand-out tracks though, Sidney Shown sounds so perfectly post-hardcore, and the vocal ‘harmonies’ sound ridiculously similar to those of Yashin‘s Harry Radford and Kevin Miles at their most energetic. ‘Unleash Hell’ however shows a much heavier side of the band, as Ivan Panella gives his drum kit one hell of a beating, while the vocals take a turn for the undoubtedly hardcore, While She Sleeps verging on Bring Me The Horizon at points, only further progressing this band’s versatile reputation. Other notable tracks are the ridiculously energetic, perfectly crafted ‘Billy’s Only Got A Pair Of Queens’, which is simply Hopes Die Last. Every instrument plays its part, undoubtedly the most impressive thing about this band.
This is, overall, just a very clean, consistent and pretty wonderful sounding album, with twelve beautifully produced tracks. As far as post-hardcore goes, this is about as finely tuned and melodic as you’ll get, without verging on pop or being unbalanced in any way. This is just completely natural sounding music. Raw, but crisp and clean. Hopes Die Last are definitely one to watch.
Written by Gary Cassidy