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Hopesfall's Riffs Hug Your Heart In The Pit

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Hopesfall performing at the St. Vitus Bar in Brooklyn.
Mark Valentino, Courtesy of the artist

Hopesfall performing at the St. Vitus Bar in Brooklyn.

Hopesfall was from Charlotte, but played the Atlanta suburbs where I grew up so often it might as well have been a local band. In the late '90s, the post-hardcore band shared bills with the likes of Zao, Beloved and bands lost to memory in church basements and all-ages spaces. But with its thoughtful fusion of Hum-inspired space-rock and metallic textures, Hopesfall was always meant to break out of those basements. Its music was twinkly-yet-brutal crying-while-moshing hardcore before that kind of heart-on-sleeve emotion really had any place in the pit.

Several lineup changes, some musical changes and a few albums later, Hopesfall broke up in 2008. Now, a decade later, it's back with Arbiter. For the most part, it's the same lineup that made 2007's Magnetic North, with guitarist Joshua Brigham and drummer Adam Morgan the band's only original members, but the record splits the difference between the raw experimentalism of 2002's The Satellite Years and the slicker, more cinematic offerings at the end of the band's first run.

Hopesfall recently played two nights at the St. Vitus Bar in Brooklyn, where much of this video for "Bradley Fighting Vehicle" was filmed. (There are also shots from the instrument store Rudy's Music and Limited To One Record Shop, which is stocked with exactly what's in the store's name.) Jay Forrest digs back into his full-throated scream once again, his soaring clean vocals anchoring the most chaotic chugs. These riffs will hug your heart one moment, and take a swing at your head the next.

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Arbiter is out now via Equal Vision Records.

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