Haste the Day is one of those bands that has always “done it for me.” And what I mean to say by that is whenever I listen to them, they never disappoint. Oh sure, it’s typical metalcore. But unlike, say, As I Lay Dying or August Burns Red, they often play it with the edges smoothed off. In fact, if there was a smooth jazz version of metalcore, this would be it.
Okay, that’s probably overstating it. But what I do like about Haste the Day is how incredible the harmonies are. The music rocks hard and you get that growling screamo “singing” style combined with super-clean vocals, and the contrast works incredibly well. For those who hate screamed lyrics it’s the perfect compromise– and at least you’ll like the chorus.
While I haven’t consumed Haste the Day’s first record, Burning Bridges, as frequently their sophomore release When Everything Falls, American Love off the band’s debut is probably as good as it gets. The song has all the best elements of what the band brings to the table. But I think Haste the Day upped the ante, or took another step toward perfecting its sound, on When Everything Falls. For sure, there was little drop off on subsequent releases (Pressure the Hinges, Dreamer and Attack of the Wolf King). But When Everything Falls was quality from the get-go.
The first side of the album begins with a solid a string of quality tunes. Fallen kicks the record off with a galloping beat and the song reaches a crescendo about two-thirds of the way through before drawing to a close. Perfect Night begins with a great snare roll and some killer double-kick work early on. Walk On features a typical metalcore breakdown, but Haste the Day seamlessly transitions back into the chorus – and the sum of the song’s parts is real good. Four tracks in and Haste the Day absolutely nails it with the title track that’s highlighted by a super catchy chorus. This time around, the band comes out of another solid breakdown into a delicately constructed bridge that takes us back to the chorus.
And so the album goes, all while singer Jimmy Ryan sounds like he’s being strangled at times. One of the standouts track on the backside of the record is Bleed Alone, which moves along at an absolutely blistering pace and forgoes the breakdown formula. It’s flat out one of the best songs on the record and is Ramones-like short. The inclusion of a cover of Goo Goo Doll’s Long Way Down as the album closer is a curious move, but it’s actually a great cover. I’ve never been a huge fan of the song, but with Haste the Day doing it, it sounds good.
In retrospect, When Everything Falls is a good, but not great, album. It suffers the fate that many artists often succumb to: making records that sound too much the same all the way through. Still, Haste the Day is one of the better bands to come out of the metalcore genre, and When Everything Falls firmly cemented the now disbanded group’s reputation as one of the best.
2. The Perfect Night
3. Walk On
4. When Everything Falls
5. If I Could See
6. Walls and Fear
7. For a Lifetime
8. This Time It’s Real
9. Bleed Alone
11. All I Have
12. Long Way Down (Goo Goo Dolls Cover)