Too Late the Hero

Statement of Purpose

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Too Late the Hero's 2011 release, Statement of Purpose, is a total sonic relic -- dead on arrival. Its evenly balanced emo/screamo/metalcore blend was positively pervasive half a decade earlier, which raises the question: why now? Was the band frozen in carbonite circa 1996? Are musical fashions simply this dated in their native Portland, Maine? Or is total creative anachronism no barrier to a record deal when a bandmember has family connections to the guy who produces Lamb of God, whose drummer and manager then pave the way to a record release through their new label imprint? Take a wild guess. Finally, do those family connections even put the album's pristine sound and metronome-perfect performances into question? So much for having friends in high places. Anyway, all this doesn't say that listeners who are similarly stuck in that ancient musical time period won't enjoy what's on offer here, but these songs will frankly sound all too repetitive and recycled to impress anyone else, with their all too predictable hard/soft dynamics, harsh/clean vocal interchanges, and late-song breakdowns. Seriously, do Killswitch Engage get a cut of royalties on these songs? The nicest thing one can say about Statement of Purpose is that a few songs, such as "Life as Fiction," the title cut, and the unconsciously self-referential "Requiem of a Scenester," strike a mildly distinctive chord by meshing these emo/screamo/metalcore basics with a thrash-inspired attack. Although the thrashing sounds all too similar to Lamb of God's. Oh well, you get the picture: Too Late the Hero won't be going very far with these outdated sounds, but they're young and crazier things have happened in rock & roll.

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