Hemlock - No Time For Sorrow
Here's the rundown; Hemlock originate from Las Vegas and have been an outfit for some years now. Their fame has been well-earned and they're known far and wide as one of metal's hardest working acts, touring on average 7-8 months out of every year. This roadwork has no doubt been a catalyst for them, seeing the band on the same stage as Slayer, Lamb of God, Slipknot, Sevendust and a host of other popular acts. No Time For Sorrow is the band's 4th release.
Now, here's the beef; metalcore fans, here's your band. Everyone else may want to stop reading now. It might get ugly. What do I think of Hemlock? I think they're a few years in the past, if this sound is an accurate judge. Their sound brings to mind instantly the nu-core of bands like Coal Chamber (especially the vocals, I've never heard someone sound so much like Dez Fafara besides the man himself). While at times they stretch their wings into more varied material To Submerge Another, Red Sky Revolution) they pigeon-hole themselves by being too repetitive with their riffs and melodies, too similar in their vocals and lyrics, and too generic in their overall songwriting. What we have here is mostly re-hashed material that's been prominent in America's metal scene over the last decade, bits of Slayer, Pantera, thrown into the nu mold and the end results leave so much to be desired.
Still reading? Like I said, if you dig the metalcore scene, or dug the whole nu thing when it was more popular, Hemlock will satisfy. I can totally see how these songs would translate better live, and I doubt I wouldn't have a good time at one of their shows. In the studio, however, the blandness of these out-of-date metal tracks shows and the cracks in No Time For Sorrow are all too clear for someone like me, who actually enjoyed the genres for awhile until realizing how similar sounding most of the bands in it were. Hemlock, regretfully so, fall into that trap and I think (otherwise I wouldn't bother writing the review) this will be reflected in many a metal fan's opinions. I know they deserve their success, but it isn't at all based on them being an innovative, creative or unique outfit. I occassionaly get flack for writing these sorts of reviews and I welcome it with pleasure; any Hemlock fans want to defend their band? Bring it to the table. I'm willing to hear why a past album or two might blow this one out of the water. I certainly would think that to be the case, but maybe my finger isn't firmly on the pulse of what's good and what's gone in metal these days. Haha...
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