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Color Morale, The - Know Hope Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 9
Musicianship 8.75
Lyrics 9
Production 9
Creativity 7
Lasting Value 8.5
Reviewer Tilt 10
Final Verdict: 88%
Member Ratings
Vocals 8.08
Musicianship 7.69
Lyrics 7.77
Production 7.6
Creativity 7.25
Lasting Value 7.48
Reviewer Tilt 7.73
Average: 77%

Color Morale, The - Know Hope

Reviewed by: Jake Denning (03/25/13)
The Color MoraleKnow Hope
Record Label: Rise Records
Release Date: March 26, 2013


In an over-saturated metalcore scene, the only way you're going to be successful as a band is if you stand out and make a name for yourself. For a band like The Color Morale, they've found themselves in a "make or break" situation, especially after riding the success of their sophomore record, My Devil In Your Eyes; it's simply not enough for this album to be accepted, it needs to be the elephant in the room that gets everyone talking - anything short of this, and the band risks fading off into obscurity and blending in with everyone else.

When the first song off the record ("Learned Behavior") was released to the public, one of the first things many people pointed out is that vocalist/lyricist Garret Rapp's vocals have changed, and you're right - his vocals have changed. When I recently spoke with Rapp, he explained the reasoning behind the change: "I changed the vocals up a little bit and I took into account my vocal delivery in The Color Morale; it just wasn't really me, it was kind of less emotion driven and more manipulated. The whole "metalcore" screaming thing...if I was to step on the cat's poop in 2am while I was getting a glass of milk, I wouldn't scream with the whole metalcore screaming voice, I would just scream how I felt in the moment". The reception was mixed, as some fans took to social media outlets to voice their displeasure, and others compared Rapp's vocals to those of Stray From The Path's Drew York. And make no mistake, his clean singing ability hasn't changed; in fact, some of the album's most memorable moments come when Rapp is let off his leash and he's allowed to catch your attention with gripping choruses that will be stuck in your head for weeks ("Burn Victims", "Strange Comfort").

Lyrically, the album has so much to live up to - if you're going to name an album Know Hope, you'd better pray that you've written nothing short of your potential.

When pressed about the songwriting experience this time around, Rapp explains "I feel that in writing something authentic and honest maybe it's not going to come out as pleasing. I've had a lot of different struggles in the last year or two in my life, a lot of unresolved things" - that is blatantly clear as you listen to this album. The album's main intent can be summarized with the lyric "I need to write about this for you, the youth, who never get told the truth" ("Burn Victims"). The album touches on various topics like finding those who are really there for you ("Learned Behavior"), woes with Christianity ("Silver Linings"), and finding out what you stand for ("Have.Will"). The lyrics may not sit well with everyone, but they're the most honest and vulnerable that Rapp have offered to date, providing an accurate snapshot of not only his reality, but many other listeners realities as well.

Instrumentally, the band has something for everyone, regardless if you like to headbang, stagedive, or two-step, the band has you covered. If you liked the song “Demon Teeth” on their past record, you’re going to enjoy circle-pitting and two-stepping to “Silver Lining”. One of my favorite aspects about this record is that the band really has a grasp of knowing when to slow things down, and then build them up again ("Saviorself", "Have.Will"). Lead guitarists Devin King and Ramon Mendoza (session writer) add a great deal of depth to the record; without their contributions, the record would feel extremely flat. I found myself finding new things that I hadn't noticed before with every listen through the album. I was also extremely impressed with drummer Steve Carey’s contributions to the album as well, he showed a lot of skill, especially with his cymbal work.

At the end of the day, when you look at this album, everything just fires on all cylinders - lyrically, vocally, instrumentally. It's a painfully honest record that may or may not sit well with a lot of fans, but that's a risk that the band was willing to take going in, and it's going to pay off. It is my belief that Know Hope is one of the best metalcore releases that Rise Records has offered up in quite some time, and people are going to take notice, especially as they find themselves on bigger and better tours; it wouldn't surprise me if Rise re-released this record with a couple of acoustic tracks a year from now.

If you're a fan of the genre, be sure and give this album a fair shake - "These songs were written for our listeners and we exist as a band for our listeners" Rapp reiterates, as our conversation nears an end.

8.8/10


Additional InformationTrack Listing:
1. Burn Victims
2. Smoke and Mirrors
3. Learned Behavior
4. Living Breathing Something
5. Strange Comfort
6. In Light In Me
7. Silver Lining
8. Steadfast
9. Hole Hearted
10. Saviorself
11. Have.Will
12. Never Enders

The Color Morale Is:
Garret Rapp – Vocals
Devin King – Guitar
Aaron Saunders - Guitar
Justin Hieser - Bass
Steve Carey - Drums

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Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 27.
05:10 AM on 03/26/13
#2
Joey-Wan Kenobi
fourth and goal
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Wow , much higher rating than I expected to see!
05:34 AM on 03/26/13
#3
t00latef0rr0ses
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Very well written review. I must say, at first I was turned off by the new screams, but they have grown on me with each listen.
05:52 AM on 03/26/13
#4
Kgod
I disagree!
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Curious to see if bring me the horizon scores higher or lower then this.
05:54 AM on 03/26/13
#5
Steve Alcala
"Counting Fish"
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Bad album is bad. If anything, this throws them into the "over saturated" part of the scene you opened about. Awfully cliche lyrics, awkward vocal melodies that flaunt tone instead of structure, and the chug fest the instrumentals have become.

A band that's perfect for Tumblr.
06:00 AM on 03/26/13
#6
jakeisthebest
I'm just a fucked up kid
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I like this band and this album, but an 8.8? Really? More like a 7.5 to be honest. The new albums from BMTH and Northlane are miles ahead of this.
06:05 AM on 03/26/13
#7
ThisPartySucks
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Great review, TCM and BMTH are carrying the load in this genre right now that's been going straight to the gutter.
06:15 AM on 03/26/13
#8
dash64
^^^&&&&/////
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Curious to see if bring me the horizon scores higher or lower then this.
I'd say higher.
06:20 AM on 03/26/13
#9
aspartame
so more to life
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I love this band, and their first full length was amazing, but this score and praise is too high. I don't mind the vocal change at all, but this is SO much more in line with the modern "bleh, heard it before" metalcore genre than the original sound they had when they started. '99-'06 hardcore/screamo bands all had an original sound, what happened to that?
06:27 AM on 03/26/13
minutesarehours
Instagram @wideawakeanddead
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Northlane's new release Singularity should be early favorite for album of the year in that scene. The new BMTH record is good but it's full of slow chugs and drawn out vocals. I dig this record. I didn't find the screaming to be bad in the least. Everyone has an opinion. Bands evolve. They aren't always going to sound the same when they record new records. The problem with people is they listen to an album once and decide they don't like it and give up on it. Give it another few whirls. If you still feel the same and disagree with Jake's rating then so be it but honestly this is some of their best work to date.
08:08 AM on 03/26/13
Jake Denning
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Northlane's new release Singularity should be early favorite for album of the year in that scene. The new BMTH record is good but it's full of slow chugs and drawn out vocals. I dig this record. I didn't find the screaming to be bad in the least. Everyone has an opinion. Bands evolve. They aren't always going to sound the same when they record new records. The problem with people is they listen to an album once and decide they don't like it and give up on it. Give it another few whirls. If you still feel the same and disagree with Jake's rating then so be it but honestly this is some of their best work to date.
Exactly. Like I said, I heard new things each time I listened through this album. I've been fortunate to have this album for a few months now, so I've had a bit of time to chew on it.
10:09 AM on 03/26/13
JayDanielHammer
solidkneeplus.tumblr.com
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really good record and i despise most of the bands like this
11:33 AM on 03/26/13
Kbak1221
Goblin shark lockjaw
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I might be one of the few people that actually likes the new screaming better. The low gruffs get so monotonous (best used sparingly so as to accentuate moments when greater power is desired), but these higher screams allow for Rapp to implement more urgency and a variety of tones. I have always loved the band's positive message, and this album is certainly more honest/vulnerable. Just keep listening folks and you just might start to enjoy it.
11:54 AM on 03/26/13
Quijiba
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very cool. will check this out
11:57 AM on 03/26/13
dtomczak
always hungry.
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After hearing "Learned Behavior", I was stoked for this album but after the first listen all the way through, I was totally underwhelmed. If everyone is saying you need to listen to it a couple more times through, I'll give it another shot.
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