If Hope Dies, one in the long list of hardcore or crossover bands from New York, was formed in 1998. The band’s debut for Danish label Diehard coincided with that company’s decline and following a promotional demo the band signed to crossover label Ironclad. The Ground Is Rushing Up To Meet Us was first issued in late 2003, but re-released by Metal Blade a year later subsequent to the two labels’ licensing agreement. The new edition featured a new cover. Many shows with the likes of Life Of Agony followed, although the band would pull out of the Kreator/Vader tour of North America. Album number three, Life In Ruin, was issued in March and was recorded at Audiohammer Studio by Jason Suecof.
Al French and Brian Ward are cousins. The band has played several editions of Hellfest and the New England Metal Fest.
IF HOPE DIES - LIFE IN RUIN - IRONCLAD/METAL BLADE
It is on Ironclad (hell, it is on Metal Blade) so it has to be metalcore, right? Right. If Hope Dies (yawn...) really tries nothing that every other metalcore, crossover, ex-hardcore band has not already done. On the other hand, if As I Lay Dying can shift albums then there would be no reason why this bunch should not be able to do exactly the same thing. To its credit, If Hope Dies has a great production, tight delivery, speed and a couple of respectable solos. Even the lyrics seem to have a couple of things to say. Although, what the song Some Skynyrd is about will not be answered here. What I really can’t stand any longer are the stereotypical backing chants. Soilwork, In Flames and the rest of the sell-outs be damned. If Hope Dies should either do what Herod has done and jump the sinking ship or push further into the territory explored on Burned Out and Anthem For The Unemployable and try more intricate riffs. Having said that, the band itself has named its fourth song here, Time Is Not On Our Side. Just skip those damn gang yells coming out of every second album. - Anna Tergel