AlbumsNovember 29, 201116,035 views

Hopesfall Magnetic North

01. Rx Contender The Pretender 02. Swamp Kittens 03. Cubic Zirkonias Are Forever 04. I Can Do This On An Island 05. Secondhand Surgery 06. Vacation/Add/Vacation! 07. Magnetic North 08. East Of 1989: Battle Of The Bay 09. Bird Flu 10. The Canon 11. Devil's Concubine 12. Head General Hospital 13. Paisley
2007 Trustkill Records
Our score 8

by Cory

Hopesfall have come a long way since their Christian melodic hardcore beginnings back in 1998 and despite their shifts and changes, they've managed to continue expanding their fanbase by making sure that whatever they put out, no matter how different it might be from their previous release, still maintains a relatively high quality of songwriting. Magnetic North sees the band continuing the evolution suggested by A-Types into a highly melodic, polished modern rock act. The album is a decided reach for commercial accessibility that doesn't sacrifice quality or content and even uses most of the more aggressive tricks in the band's repertoire. Album openers "RX Contender The Pretender" and "Swamp Kittens" are both strong tracks and a good indication of what you'll hear on the rest of the album. Fairly basic verses with interesting melodies give way to more aggressive bridges and choruses. The rhythm guitar work stayss front and center while most of the leads hide underneath a mile of shoegaze reverb. Every so often something vaguely metallic stumbles into the song (in the case of "Swamp Kittens," it's the odd-time Meshuggah-style riff halfway through) and reminds the listener that Hopesfall hasn't completely forsaken their past despite their current direction. When the searing lead comes in and the ending of the latter track builds to its climax, things get epic. The only times that Hopesfall seems even mildly uncomfortable is during the mellowed balladry that begins songs like "Cubic Zirkonias Are Forever" (their spelling choice, not mine) or constitutes the entirety of "I Can Do This On An Island," but once things get loud again, it's easy to forgive any temporary lulls that they may have caused. "Secondhand Surgery" uses guitar effects and production to raise the song's simple riffing to a dramatic new level, a technique that the band seems to have perfected. Jay Forrest's vocals combine the gut-wrenching emotional delivery of Tim Kasher with more technically accomplished range and execution. "East Of 1989; Battle Of The Bay" is a partly Dredg-esque tune that showcases both his ability and his restraint. The album might run a little long from here, but it's hard to fault the band for supplying more solid tunes than they needed to. Bottom Line: Hopesfall have successfully made the seamless transition from a melodic metalcore/hardcore/emo/etc. act nearly ten years ago into an extremely talented modern rock act. Magnetic North is just as good as the band's previous releases, if not better, and fans who have stuck with the band won't have a problem embracing the band's latest step forward. Alternately, for those unfamiliar with the band, it's not a bad starting point as it is certainly their most mature effort to date in terms of songwriting, performance and production. If you're ready for something a bit less aggressive to fulfill your quota of "catchy," pick up Magnetic North.


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edgehog_ 6/8/2007 5:02:32 PM

first, picking this one up soon. don't hate!

lolomgwtf_ 6/8/2007 5:13:59 PM


hxc0148_ 6/8/2007 5:17:15 PM

first first post a-types sucked. this will too.

anonymous 6/8/2007 5:20:07 PM

great cd

grudgecityhxc_ 6/8/2007 5:26:19 PM

i actually agree with this gay for once. this album is really, really good.

die x 3_ 6/8/2007 6:21:03 PM

this cd impressed me from the get-go!

chewbacca_ 6/8/2007 6:40:38 PM

im sure people will bitch, but ive had this album for a while now, and A Types is the only thing they have released that i didnt like. i agree with the score and the review. They aint hte hopesfall of old, but what they have done here is still worthy of praise

wearyourwounds_ 6/8/2007 7:17:40 PM

is there even one member from these "melodic hardcore beginnings" still left in the band?

gfdsgsd_ 6/8/2007 7:53:24 PM

GAY shut

itouchyourkids_ 6/8/2007 10:33:34 PM

no "no wings to speak of" no care

xtroyx_ 6/9/2007 12:14:03 AM

how is there no deftones reference in this review? parts of the hopesfall songs are direct rips from deftones. it's kind of sad.

Cory_ 6/9/2007 1:06:56 AM

If there's no reference to the Deftones it's because I'm not immediately familiar with most of their material. From what I am familiar with, it wasn't the most obvious comparison and in all honesty, I tried my best to stay away from excessive comparison because the record stands on its own as a fairly original record in my personal estimation.

mefuckyeah_ 6/9/2007 3:46:05 AM

Good review Cory/Good Score

When the searing lead com_ 6/9/2007 10:53:14 AM


fsdadasfdsaf_ 6/9/2007 10:53:27 AM

When the searing lead comes in and the ending of the latter track builds to its climax, things get epic.

give me sunshine_ 6/9/2007 12:06:55 PM

make me happy

skip_ 6/9/2007 12:28:51 PM

Great review. This album is fantastic. I haven't stopped listening to it. I hated A Types so I was ready for this to let me down again, but they destroyed my expectations and released a solid, mature and memorable album.

dmopwnedyou_ 6/9/2007 1:58:12 PM

i think the only original person is the bass player mike I like this cd alot...I was kinda hoping they would go back to their old roots a little more ala no wings/fratility/ but this is still an amazing album good review

Nowonmai_ 6/9/2007 5:55:57 PM

Actually the only original member left is Josh Brigham, one of the guitarists. I still like this band, and this album is definitely decent.

Kevin_ 6/9/2007 6:53:07 PM

Cory, you continuously give terrible cds from terrible bands good scores. Furthermore, your review skills are sketchy at best. I hope you die in a car accident, you sucking f*ck-face.

Justin_ 6/9/2007 8:15:48 PM

I second what Kevin said. And A-types an "evolution"? More like a regression at best. Just stop it, because you obviously have no idea what you're talking about. Anybody that agrees with you is probably 16 and works at Starbucks.

Strife_ 6/9/2007 10:40:41 PM

You idiots! This guy has listened to more music then most of you dipshits, and I can only imagine his album collection, so get aids you space dockers. Start reviewing records yourselves and then post them on here if you think you can do better. Please don't reproduce.

Kyle_ 6/10/2007 5:09:53 AM

This whole site is a joke and no one takes it seriously. Just delete it already. Really f*cking good album, by the way. A Types was terrible. This one is awesome.

TheReapersSon_ 6/10/2007 9:52:21 AM

Goddamn, the comments on this thing never fail to disappoint. f*cking hilarious, the last 4 are...

anonymous 6/10/2007 10:42:51 AM

f*ck cory

anonymous 6/10/2007 10:42:59 AM

f*ck cory

anonymous 6/10/2007 10:43:11 AM

andddddd f*ck cory!

Oswaldo Sanchez_ 6/10/2007 1:53:57 PM

I've been a fan of this band since their early beginnings. Satellite Years was some what derivative for me and A - Types just blew chunks in my opinion. I was expecting the same with this album but from what I've read and heard from people, I think I'll give it a shot.

Fur_Beach_ 6/10/2007 3:13:47 PM

I dig it.

br00tal_ 6/10/2007 4:45:08 PM

agreed. good score. good album. sorry there isn't any br00tal mosh parts. gays.

anonymous 6/10/2007 5:41:55 PM

why listen to this when you can listen to 'no wings to speak of' on repeat?

dickxsmoke_ 6/10/2007 7:11:43 PM

f*ck you cory.

anonymous 6/11/2007 5:25:29 AM

why listen to this when you can listen to 'no wings to speak of' on repeat? posted by () on 6/10/2007 5:41:55 PM

KHL_ 6/11/2007 8:53:01 AM

Shut up whoever who said "f*ck cory", go f*ck yourselves instead.

Meader_ 6/11/2007 9:21:49 AM

I like this album the most out of anything Hopesfall has done including No Wings to Speak of. It won't float everyone's boat, so I don't see the point in swearing and getting agressive, especially hiding behind the vail of a computer screen. Have your opinion but respect others'. A good review that I happen to agree with.

hollowhead23_ 6/11/2007 9:58:09 AM

if its made by christians and reviewed by cory its got to be some rejected dna or complete rear pleasure.

rodrigo_ 6/11/2007 2:48:20 PM

you should be familiar with the deftones

rob_tcp_ 6/11/2007 3:05:38 PM

good review, 9.5/10 album, probably one of the top of 07

PIG_DESTROYER_ 6/11/2007 9:05:27 PM

wow, i'm shocked that so many people are giving this album some respect. it really is pretty good. this is what they should have released between satellite years and a types. but instead, they should have never release a types. but of course, what they really should have done was never put out either, and put out 10 albums that sounded exactly like no wings to speak of. and kept the old singer.

Kyle_ 6/13/2007 2:55:18 AM

I love the idiots on this site. You all complain when shit sounds exactly the same but when a band tries something different they get bashed for it. Retards. The lot of you. Go DIAF.

Lesser Known Jim_ 6/13/2007 11:27:50 AM

Wow - this was actually a very informed and well-written review! Congrats!!

Brian_ 6/15/2007 2:40:21 PM

First track was a big surprise. I enjoyed the song for sure. Seems to be strongly influenced by Deftones and Glassjaw, but whatever it works. Kinda lost interest on every other track. Album is much better than A-Types.

zombiesaretight_ 6/16/2007 6:47:07 PM

hopesfall sucks. end of story

Fraility of Words_ 6/17/2007 4:03:35 PM

I'm glad people seem to like it, but there are a lot of people I hear calling it crap and garbage and they never even heard "Shines Through" or "Endeavor"... I wish they were still like the Hopesfall of old, I miss them, bottom line is... they are excellent song writers, muscians, and live performers. Nothing they release ever sounds the same, and are more talented than anybody on any message board could ever fathom.

gartface_ 6/20/2007 4:53:46 PM

as soon as ryan parrish left for darkest hour, hopesfall kind of went to crap. this album, though sounds nothing like any of their other stuff, is still kind of refreshing, because of how horrible a-types was.

gartface_ 6/20/2007 4:55:21 PM

shit nevermind, just realized it was a different ryan parrish

embraceofdarkness_ 6/21/2007 9:26:18 PM

Some of the worst music i have ever heard.

tiger_ 6/21/2007 9:42:33 PM

A Types...... was good.

fdsgsdfggsdf_ 6/27/2007 2:27:34 AM


anonymous 6/27/2007 4:47:22 PM

band members of hopes fall - " f*ck Me IN THE ASS CORY" BREE

mike_ 7/19/2007 3:51:05 PM

for once i agree w/ one of cory's reviews. but he still sucks

fromyourhands_ 7/30/2007 10:09:01 AM

sigh, so many misinformed people. Ryan Parrish left to join Celebrity, not Darkest Hour. Also, this current band is not a Christian band at all, and Jay has made that clear. And yes, A-Types was crap. This ok. The deftones did it better. And beyond that, it pisses me off that this band is still writing music under this band name, and it pisses me off that jay kicked people out and is STILL using the name. TSY was decent because ryan parrish still wrote the bulk of it and jay j

zach_ 7/31/2007 1:41:43 PM

does anyone know what happened to doug after he left the band, and why? what is he doing these days?

xnugx_ 7/31/2007 2:13:30 PM

A Types blew hardcore. I expected the same for this, but honestly it was very mature and well done album. It ain't no Satellite Years but honestly for what they are now, they are really good.

Boob_ 8/23/2007 10:26:49 PM

Roflcakes at saying Deftones did this better. Sure some guitar work here and there reminds of them, but 91.64% of the album has there own style. t-ts.

Allex_ 2/23/2010 11:22:36 AM

This album is wonderful. Great review. To the haters: As a person that is in a band of many albums, it is tedious to both attempt to please your fanbase and not hate yourself for the compromises at the end of the day. You can't expect a band to make the same music year after year. People change, the world changes, music changes. Yes, this album isn't brutal and there's none of their earlier heaviness, but all in all it's a solid transformation. A-Types wasn't well received because their listener

anonymous 3/13/2017 5:55:19 AM

great record, has aged very well