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Hopes Die Last - "Trust No One" (CD)

Hopes Die Last - "Trust No One" CD cover image

"Trust No One" track listing:

1. Never Trust The Hazel Eyed (4:05)
2. Sidney Shown (3:02)
3. Unleash Hell (3:52)
4. Life After Me Life After You (3:43)
5. The Blue (1:30)
6. Bill's Only Got A Pair Of Queens (3:49)
7. This Song Plays Suicide (3:58)
8. Air Raid Siren (3:19)
9. Firework (Katy Perry Cover) (4:00)
10. The Same Old Fears (4:20)
11. Icarus (Halfway Across the Sky) (3:22)
12. Keep Your Hands Off (Featuring Nekso) (4:20)

Reviewed by on March 22, 2012

"'Trust No One' is like a magician that has only a few tricks; it’s awesome seeing them the first time, then as the same tricks are repeated ad nauseam, the thrill goes away."

There’s nothing more trivial than middle-of-the-road music; it’s not the worst thing ever heard, but it’s also far from top-shelf quality. It can be played through in full, and when it’s over, a mild reaction is expressed. This description fits Hopes Die Last’s sophomore album “Trust No One” like a pair of cushy sweatpants. Most of the songs sound the same, with subtle difference in the riffs and the transition from the “harsh” verses to the “clean” choruses. They take the metalcore instruction manual and go page by page in order, and what’s left is something vanilla and inoffensive.

“Trust No One” is like a magician that has only a few tricks; it’s awesome seeing them the first time, then as the same tricks are repeated ad nauseam, the thrill goes away. “Never Trust The Hazel Eyed” is basted with vigor, and the two vocal types are on level playing fields in the song. “Sidney Shown” does more of the same, and that pattern continues for two-thirds of the album. Only the keyboard-driven interlude “The Blue” breaks the streak.

While the first six songs or so are forgettable, Hopes Die Last tries to win back support with the loftier second half. A cover of Katy Perry’s “Firework” is not as ill-advised as it sounds, and brings in electronic sampling that isn’t distracting. That feeling is saved for the electro-friendly “Keep Your Hands Off,” which capitalizes on metal bands letting guest DJ’s and electro artists mess with their sound. It’s a meshing that feels artificial, though at least it is more relevant than the washed-out first half.

“The Same Old Fears” and “Icarus (Halfway Across The Sky)” count themselves as the most original tunes on “Trust No One.” Backed by strings, “The Same Old Fears” has a symphonic edge to give the track a push of gravitas not available on any other track. The latter song is a piano ballad which hands the reigns over to bassist Marco Calanca, who provides the clean vocals throughout the album. Calanca’s voice is whiny on the heavier material, but here shows a maturity that is only shaken by the obvious studio processing his voice went through.

This album takes up digital and physical space, but lacks the fundamentals of what makes music stand out. Their already-established fan base will cry about a lack of understanding and how they are the “truest and coolest band out there today.” They may be right, in their own twisted minds; however, people who actually try to expand their musical tastes will find “Trust No One” to be derivative of hundreds that have come before them. “Trust No One” is for serious fans of the band and/or metalcore only.

Highs: Some ambition to the second half, a few catchy choruses strewn around

Lows: Whiny clean vocals, lack of originality, terrible use of electro on "Keep Your Hands Off"

Bottom line: Inoffensive metalcore that does very little to appeal to anybody outside of the band's fan base.

Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls
2.5 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)