Release Date: Mar 25, 2013
Record label: Rise Records
On their third effort, Rockford, Illinois metalcore group the Color Morale continue to rip out blistering metal, alternating between screaming verses and melodic choruses, but their abilities on both sides of the spectrum are better than ever. Like on We All Have Demons and My Devil in Your Eyes, there is an incredible level of intensity throughout Know Hope. Punishing breakdowns and post-prog guitar riffs punctuate the screamo moments, but Garret Rapp's ability to work in a big, clean, anthemic hook is the X factor that separates the five-piece from the sea of hardcore/emo sound-alikes.
An original take on the metalcore sound, we reckon. The challenge for bands making a style of music that’s characterised by definitive things – breakdowns, riffs and screams being a few of them – is legitimately sounding original. Fortunately, this Illinois metalcore five-piece sound more like they’ve created their own sound about halfway through their third record – whether it’s thrashier influences on ‘Silver Linings’ or lyrics that casually rip the piss out of their genre in ‘In Light Of Me’, it’s a refreshing listen.
Metalcore sextet The Color Morale never strays too far from the tried-and-true tropes of their subgenre on full-length No. 3, but still manages to craft tunes that are passionate and memorable, mixing breakdown-fuelled mosh, noisy dissonance, and catchy choruses on wide-ranging tracks like “Learned Behavior.” Frontman Garrett Rapp’s vocals run the gamut from hardcore bellows to soulful crooning, the latter reminiscent of Jonny Craig (Dance Gavin Dance, Emarosa, et al). Given that The Color Morale aren’t setting out to break new ground with Know Hope, they do succeed in making a record fans will love.
For those following the most successful groups in metalcore lately, The Color Morale’s name is likely to have come up at some point. The band’s fanbase has grown in scope as steadily as the metalcore movement as whole, while groups like August Burns Red and As I Lay Dying proved to the average music fan that no, not every group with a harsh vocalist is a Satanist cult. As the paradigm has shifted, metalcore has gained momentum, allowing groups like The Color Morale to gain a large amount of fans.