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Hail the Sun — New Age Filth Award winner

Hail The Sun
New Age Filth
by Shea Higgerson at 13 July 2021, 1:55 AM

It’s like a flashback to the early 2000s listening to Hail the Sun’s fifth full-length album “New Age Filth”, and I’m not mad about time traveling. It’s post-hardcore with pop punk vibes, but a bit of a modern upgrade…and heavier. The music is very upbeat and energetic, but while the lyrics have some of the emo you’d expect from the genre, they feel more relatable than the “cut my wrists and cry black eyeliner tears” emo most people think of with that term. A lot of the album deals with self-reflection and reconciling with the past and mistakes. It has its dark moments, but it’s not without positivity.

The poetic lyric writing immediately drew me in from the first song “Domino.” “If you love me then love me to death” is complemented with the sentiment “If I love you I love you to death” when the chorus hits the second time. Vocalist Donavan Melero’s voice is really great too, both singing and screaming. A lot of the time there is the pop punk-style singing in this album, but there are some metal screams in here that are awesome. I wanted a little more screaming, but there was a pretty good balance for the most part. Melero just has so much emotion in his voice and it really adds to the energy of the music behind it. “Parasitic Cleanse” is one of my favorite songs on the album. It immediately begins with the hardcore screams I really dig. “Do we siphon sunlight? Are we leeches in debris? Make us suffer silent so you can all pretend that you don’t see. Concept lost on all of us. Decay. Disarray. The crisis doctors say I’m not ok. If god is watching us, this must be what it wants” is an epic lyric.

Aside from the great lyrics and vocals, there is some quite technical guitar and drum work from this band that just makes the whole thing even better. Examples are the opening of “Misfire” and the song “Parasitic Cleanse,” but there’s so much good in the whole album. “Hysteriantics” is the second song after “Slipped My Mind” to mention the walls spinning around, which suggests some episodes of feelings of insanity. I personally love when bands recycle certain elements into other songs, such as lyrics or riffs. It gives the album a feeling of consistency and ties everything together. “In the end I realize we’re dust from the stars/A strange sensation is all that we are” are some of the coolest lyrics in this slightly depressing, but great song “Devaluation.” Again, you can see from the title and the lyrics that self-reflection is a big factor in the overall theme of this album.

“Punch Drunk” is an amazing song to end this album with — it’s a hit. The high screams with the high singing vocals are just perfect here. The chorus of this song is so catchy and the delivery is spot on. And as upbeat as this is, it’s one of the darkest songs lyrically. “We follow God to the temple now/You need to drink til the heart stops/When the glasses are emptied out/All of the people around drop/We go now. We go now/Let's all escape this world together.” I don’t believe there’s a bad song on this album and enjoyed listening the entire time, and I wished I’d discovered this band sooner.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 9
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Domino
2. Slander
3. Solipsism
4. Misfire
5. Made Your Mark
6. Slipped My Mind
7. Parasitic Cleanse
8. Hysteriantics
9. Devaluation
10. Punch Drunk
Donovan Melero - Vocals/Drums
Aric Garcia - Guitar
John Stirrat - Bass
Shane Gann - Guitar
Record Label: Equal Vision Records


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Edited 05 October 2022

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