Taking Musical Individuality From Fate
After spending over a year of promoting their music by touring with the likes of Throwdown and God Forbid, A Life Once Lost rise from the ashes to present their second album, and debut album for Roadrunner: 'Hunter', which promises to be even more skull crushing and devastating in its approach than their debut album. It is a well-known fact that North-Eastern America is top dog when it comes to producing the most progressive and diverse of metallic hardcore bands, boasting such behemoth deities as Isis, Deadguy and Dillinger Escape Plan at the heart of this deliciously hellish genre. It would seem that A Life Once Lost are no exception to the rule as they fight forward with all the angst and brutality of their peers but have a sense of individuality in their musical war-waging drawing influences from Sabbath, Meshuggah and Coalesce. With influences such as these it's hard to imagine that a band could produce anything less than quality pulverising abusive metal and one listen to this astonishing, spine chilling offering just proves that A Life Once Lost is no exception.
The first track 'Rehashed' explodes into a pure frenzy of staccato, disjointed rhythms, violent and desolate lyrics as the guitars slide fluidly down their darkened melodic groove. There is no mistaking the sheer vitality of the music that A Life Once Lost create here as perfect displays of versatile and varied compositions crash and burn all around, surrounding the listener in pure diversity and creative chaos. The timing between drums and guitars is right on queue, always blended no matter what the change in time signature of which can change rapidly, unexpectedly and without warning. This is melodic hardcore with a refreshing, rather pleasant twist of something more techno which works together surprisingly well to create a very unique and addictive sound. 'Needleman' kicks in with a forceful and sinister assault, the guitars roaring along with fiery, atomic vocals that grate and tear away at the music, pulling and moulding the song into it's own unique character. The vocals for this track are not particularly outstanding enough to class them as any different in style than the vocals from other bands but they do shape the mood of the chaos while displaying huge amounts of skill when it comes to projecting the vocals over the rest of the band. Refusing to get swamped in the raging war of noise, the vocals stand proudly out above the rest of the band, packing a punch that will no doubt send shivers down your spine.
'Vulture' should be considered to be one of the highlights on the album as it features an incredible, explosive vocal collaboration between Robert Meadows and the guest vocals of Randy Blythe from Lamb Of God. It has been said that working with a member of a band with such reputation as Lamb Of God have often stamps the music with a little of the high level of standard carried by the guest band member and this track is certainly no exception. The two vocal talents blend together to create the ultimate, skull crushing hardcore metal experience while guitar melodies sway and bend underneath the sheer power of the vocal storm. The transitions between the shifting time signatures and keys are also very smooth and precise, showing off high professional standards and musical skill. 'Vulture' is certainly the highpoint of the album. 'Salai' is a complete contrast to the rest of the raging frenzied tracks of the album. It is completely different, incredibly dark and atmospheric and subdued in its approach towards the mood while still retaining a certain sense of aggression. It may be purely down to the fact that this track is completely instrumental but it has a whole new feel to it that makes it so refreshing to listen to. Thunderous drum beats and strikes on guitars build up the tension while the keys create an atmospheric backdrop that looms overheard and takes you completely by surprise. This paves the way for a groove-like rhythm that builds the instruments around each other and creates a mysterious yet somehow addictive aura. It is this track that really shows the flexibility and also boasts the Black Sabbath influence to it's full potential. Furthermore, it is the composition of the instrumental that really makes this track special, showing a more artistic and creative side to A Life Once Lost's music not found in other tracks on this album.
The whole idea behind this mind-blowing release is about getting what you want out of life and not letting anyone hold you back from taking that from fates' grasp. Here it is clear that A Life Once Lost have certainly achieved that goal for themselves with their new album, this is an album that is sure to make a real impact on the hardcore scene thusly creating a new name for American hardcore metal.