A Hope For Home
The Everlasting Man

Though the third release from the newly restarted Strikefirst Records won’t appeal to too many readers of this site, it will appeal to fans of the first As Cities Burn album as well as the likes of Misery Signals, Means and such; jangly, layered, melodic worshipcore with an overabundance of emo/clean vocals, that as usual take away from the otherwise enjoyable music.

With a musical backbone that tangibly culls from Misery Signals, Life In Your Way and the last Inked In Blood album, as well as more commercial acts like Time in Malta and various Victory Records emo bands, The Everlasting Man (A concept based off of G.K. Chesterton’s novel of the same name) is a deep concept album that echoes with elegance and beauty, but is a little thin on originality and heft, meaning not too many ‘metal’ fans will get into it. I actually had a hard time getting into it, but not because of the music; it’s very well done, heartfelt and melodic, but those clean vocals just ruin it for me.

Take away the emo vocals, and you actually have a pretty enjoyable album of shimmering, grace filled, conceptually religious metalcore that’s a perfect fir for the overall concept. However, add the clean vocals and it suddenly becomes more wimpy and emo, loosing any positives the music had. Now don’t get me wrong -I enjoy well done clean vocals, especially in this kind of music as they tend to fit the passionate, praiseful, conventions of the music (i.e Life In Your Way, Kingston Falls), but if they are even just a bit ‘off’ or winging-I shut down, no matter how much I like the music-just ask The Devil Wears Prada.

Which is a shame, because on the whole tracks like “Iniquity: An Offering”, “Babylon: The Insatiable Thirst”, “Masada: The Spiritual Staircase”, the more ambient “Restoration: The Return From Exile” and “Redemption: Grief Observed”, when delivered with the standard metalcore/ hardcore shout, are actually pretty solid examples of melodic, soaring, heartfelt metalcore. However, folks that can tolerate the clean vocals could do no worse than this elegant and honest release, I just prefer my Christian metal to have just a little bit more of an edge.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
February 11th, 2009

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