Haste the Day

Pressure the Hinges

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Pressure the Hinges marks Haste the Day's third effort for Solid State and first with new vocalist Stephen Keech, who stepped in after Jimmy Ryan departed for married life at the tail-end of 2005. The record expands on the increased melodic exploits of 2005's When Everything Falls, most songs not only falling into the sing/scream dynamic of screamo (emphasis on the singing), but also edging nearer to confessional modern rock than anything really metalcore related. "The Minor Prophets" doesn't even start chugging until the final minute fadeout, and "Stitches" opens up with tender singing that continues to reign supreme in its four-minute run. However, there is enough metal to satisfy old fans, even as the guys involve more expansive moments to keep people guessing; the powerful build-up of "Chorus of Angels" and the near Deftones-inspired "Janet's Planet" are interesting inclusions on a disc that elsewhere concentrates on a pummeling Wall of Sound and hooky choruses to get it through (though that latter song somewhat kills the mood with its hazy and slow crawl). In addition to the emphasis on harmonious vocals, the most marked difference in Haste the Day is new mic wielder Keech. He does a suitable job of balancing out the soft moments with hardened grit, but whereas Ryan owned a shriek akin to that of an evil, rabid dog snapping at anyone who might get too close, Keech's pair of lungs fall much more in line with most of his metalcore peers. It's not bad, just kind of ordinary. As a result, Haste the Day's songs are indeed still catchy and powerful, they're just a little less distinctive to the scene overall and go down much easier than before. Fans shouldn't be turned off by Pressure's glossy sheen and new dynamics, though; they should just make room to welcome even more people into the Haste the Day faction. [A deluxe edition of the CD was also issued.]

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