Album Review :
A Hope For Home - In Abstraction

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Artist: A Hope For Home

Album: In Abstraction

Record Label: Facedown Records

Release Date: December 6th, 2011

  1. Calm
  2. Out Of Ruins, Misery
  3. Firewind
  4. Tides
  5. The House Where You Were Born
  6. Weaved
  7. Everything That Rises Must Converge

With the way the music industry cycles albums now a days, to stay relevant you need to produce and produce and produce as much new material as you can just to make a name for yourself. The announcement about A Hope For Home releasing In Abstraction, courtesy of Facedown Records, it was not a shock. After releasing their first two albums back to back in 2009 and 2010, The Everlasting Man and Realis, it was most certain that this band would have a release in 2011 just like label mates A Plea For Purging. In Abstraction, like previous album Realis, is a conceptual piece that contains seven songs and runs fifty one minutes long.  The shortest song running at a time of 5:15. Obviously meant to be taken as a journey rather then a collection of songs too fill in space.  In Abstraction is an art album and not made for mainstream purposes.

The album starts with the track entitled “Calm” which starts with tone heavy gain driving down strums into a haunting scream. Slow but driving the listener is visualizing that, like the album cover, there is a fire being spread through out their brain. Then at 1:50 into the track water is spread over the ground with beautiful ambience and chords being plucked with a tom and snare beat filling in the rhythm.  That is when the listener is lost in the sounds of driving gain and ambience.

Something that struck odd to me when reading over the album was that the heavy parts are heavier and the melody is very warm and ambient. When it came to the warm ambience I knew what to expect and A Hope For Home delivered.  However when it came to the heavy parts being heavier, the band does not produce a heaviness that one would come to expect. The album is very tone heavy and very driven when the screams come in. When listening expect to hear an equal portion of soft and heavy through out if not a little more soft ambience.

When it comes to creativity this album has sparks of great things that stand out. A good blend of bands like Hands and also some Explosions in the Sky cover the vast majority of this album. In Abstraction is a great if you want to listen to instrumental pieces with singing and screaming here and there. The parts are nothing to technical but they sound good. The issue is the length of certain parts. Some parts are just cycles of ambient chords covered with delay revolving for six to seven minutes. If being listened to on walks or long drives, the sections of drawn out cycles are bypassed.

In all honesty none of these songs stick out and pop. That was probably the bands intention seeing how every song sounds the same for a long period of time. It is not a definite probably however when listening to In Abstraction then it might be with other albums.  Mostly because a lot of the structures of the songs are seemingly similar to fugues and symphonies. To me that is an amazing concept that is not done to often in the heavy music genre.

The only disappointment with In Abstraction is the vocals. Not at all points in the album is the singing disappointing but there are parts where pitch comes into question with the cleans. Also parts that question the screamers range. These are things that could have been worked on in production. These things do not drag down the album because of the way the songs are structured and the length of the instrumental parts.

Overall: A Hope For Home did not hit a home run with In Abstraction, however it sure is a ground rule double. Though the album runs seven songs for fifty one minutes, do not expect a “Cries of The Past”. In Abstraction is full of great ambient melodies and heavy toned guitars that will keep listeners of different genres intrigued until the very end. This album is for fans of Hands, Explosions In The Sky, and As Cities Burn (Come Now Sleep).