2000 Loudnet Records
Combining technical metal with chaotic hardcore, A Life Once Lost have definitely forged their own sound on this record. The album's first track "Joan Said Please" kicks off with a strange dual-guitar riff followed by rapid tempo changes and jagged hardcore. The song eventually settles into more rhythmic bursts of high pitched guitar leads and double-bass flurries. After listening to this spirited track, listeners should be impressed by the technical skills displayed by ALOL, but totally unable to categorize this impressively spastic version of hardcore/metal. Don't expect the confusion to end on "This Is What She Calls Home", the second track. This equally odd song features an infectious riff spelled by periods of mellow guitar noodling and up-tempo techni-metal. Did I mention that everything is backed by screamy, scratchy, difficult to understand vocals There is no vocal variation on the entire album whatsoever and the lack of vocal volume makes them more of a background effect than a featured element of this band. The rest of "Open Your Mouth For The Speechless..." follows suit, complete with impressive instrumention and structural variety, although the remainder of this record isn't quite as effective as the first two songs. A few of the remaining tracks never adequately develop and the vocals as a unit are almost unnecessary due to their lack of volume and clarity. On the other hand, when A Life Once Lost find their groove, they're just a few chords short of amazing. Numerous portions of this record are very good and appear to accurately foreshadow the full potential of this group. If nothing else, this record is an eye-opening blend of skillful musicianship coupled with competent hardcore. Bottom Line: Don't expect a flawless album, but do expect to enjoy ALOL's innovative and fearless approach. This one's worth picking up and we'll definitely be keeping an eye on this group in the future.