The Color Morale “Know Hope” Album Review

Since 2005, The Color Morale have been steadily pumping out solid post-hardcore tracks that showcase heavy guitar lines, guttural screams, and passionate lyrics. While they are labeled as Christian Hardcore, they do not consider themselves a Christian band, believing their music both lyrically and melodically can speak to anyone of any faith. The Color Morale has recently released their third full length album, Know Hope, and it is a testament to the band’s ingenious lyric writing and new vocal sound.

Know Hope is different from the band’s previous albums in both lyrical integrity and musical content, which should be appreciated by long-time fans. “Burn Victims” starts off the album, and it is a picture perfect sample of what is to follow on the record. It’s a commanding start with shredding guitar and some gloriously heavy screams. Completing a record of this caliber took highly adept musical skill. Highlighting the record’s complex musicality, “Learned Behavior” is packed full of intricate riffs and rhythms. “Silver Lining” was easily my favorite song off Know Hope, and it’s sure to be a fan favorite as well. It’s heavy, it’s fast, and it’s a shimmering innovative moment of well-constructed post-hardcore musicianship. Another noteworthy track is “Steadfast,” which is probably the most anthemic off the record. Beautifully complex vocals engage in an entanglement with an infectious chorus, resulting in something that sounds like the musical offspring between Johnny Craig and Tim McIlrath. “Saviorself” is a strong reflection of the band’s creative writing. With a witty track title and poignant lyrics about contending and coming to terms with one’s beliefs, “Saviorself” is some of the most honest and vulnerable lyrics The Color Morale have written to date. Not only is the song lyrically impressive, but it captures vocalist Garret Rapp’s stunningly massive vocal range, soaring to remarkable heights.

Know Hope is clearly a change of pace in musical production and artistry for The Color Morale. The vocals have indeed changed up, making the record a little less screamy than their past work, which may not sit well with all fans. However, I believe the decision to make such a shift in the vocal arrangement, shows growth and maturity in the music that will help set the band apart in an over-saturated post-hardcore scene. This is a special record, taking multiple plays to get a real feel for the music, as new elements emerge with each listen. Overall, Know Hope is an enjoyable record; the few underwhelming moments are far outshined by its adroit musical performances and lyrical depth. I highly recommend this for fans of Dance Gavin Dance, Emarosa, Confide, old school Alexisonfire, Rise Against, The Crimson Armada, or Senses Fail.

-Lauren L.


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