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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Album Yet?, 5 April 2011
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This review is from: Hope (Limited Edition Deluxe 2CD) (Audio CD)
These 6 Welsh lads have come along way since their debut EP, 'The Blackout! The Blackout! The Blackout!', but does that mean they've gotten any better?

1. Ambition Is Critical 5/5

Kicking off the album with one hell of a bang, Ambition sets the tone for the rest of the album. Full of brilliant clean vocals from vocalist Gavin, and fantastic screams from his co-vocalist Sean, the track really is very good. We can also tell that these guys have improved on their lyrics since last time around, now showing a bit more of a deeper side. Also, the breakdown toward the end of this track is just... wow. When they played this live at the MEN Arena in February and that breakdown kicked in, the place just blew up.

2. Never By Your Side 5/5

Yet another stonking riff kicks off this second track, coupled with the random, drowned out blabberings of Gavin (which create a great effect I must say). This song is certainly much 'screamier' than the opener, straight away letting old fans know that this new album isn't going to turn it's back on the first/second albums style. The lyrics are also once again much deeper than anything previously heard, as the title lyric itself could be referencing God or religion. Deep stuff lads. The chorus is also very catchy and is certainly one that could possibly get you singing along after the first listen. The song also ends with a nice short little dialogue piece from a southern American guy; more of a gimmick I suppose, but still a nice touch.

3. Higher & Higher 5/5

You've probably heard this by now, wether you're a fan or not, thanks to extensive daytime play from Radio 1. Basically it's that one with the brilliantly catchy chorus. Yes, the one which gets you screaming "WOO!" at the top of you're lungs over and over again. This could be the highest point of The Blackouts career so far, and one of the finest points in the history of modern Hardcore. I'm not kidding, it's really that good. Just check out 'rapper of the momment' Hyro Da Hero's little breakdown rap in the final minute of the song. Unexpected, suprising, but something absolutely brilliant.

4. Hope (Scream It Out Loud)5/5

Time to slow down the pace for a little while now after the chaotic first 10 minutes. Well, slow it down a bit. Hope yet again features an almost instant 'sing-along' chorus, thanks to the extensive use of "WOAH!'s". In a way it channels past songs such as 'It's High Tide Baby', but this time a little bit more darker and serious. The track also features a great message; 'Hold onto you're Hope, always!'. This theme is present for almost all of the tracks on the album, but is showcased mostly here. Better dust of you're singing voice before you hear the chorus of this one.

5. This Is Our Time 5/5

If the opening of this song doesn't catch you're attention then you must have something wrong with you're hearing. Sean Smith flys right in, screaming the title lyric over and over again over a heavy drum beat and distorted guitar. The song continues like this for the majority of it's run time. It's heavy, melodic and very good. The exchange between Sean and Gavin on vocals at about 1:05 is a highlight, perfectly showcasing the light and dark of the vocals. One of the more simple songs on the album, but definetly not bad, by any stretch of the imagination.

6. The Last Goodbye 4/5

Another great track to sing along with. The Blackout really are very good at crafting songs with plenty of melody, whilst retaining a bit of their 'edge' at the same time.. no matter how 'pop' things ALMOST become. Although it's a good song, I think it is definetly the weakest on the album. I can definetly see it becoming a fan-favourite though, maybe being the last song played on their live sets (before encore's).

7. No More Waiting 5/5

Things have slowed down again, and starting with a distorted guitar riff and drowned out vocals, it seems like things will continue this way. Then Sean comes in out of nowhere screaming "WAKE UP WAKE UP!" at the top of his lungs, and the song explodes into a euphoric, atomic bomb like chorus. This is a song that wouldn't seem out of place on their first album, definetly being one of the hardest hitting on the record. I can just imagine this one being played now. As the breakdown ends going into the final minute and Sean steps back in with the pre-chorus "WAKE UP!", arenas, clubs and stages everywhere will simply explode. Superb.

8. The Devil Inside 5/5

Lets continue this blistering pace shall we? Blending The Used, The Bronx and their own sound together, The Blackout managed to create this fabulous slice of aggressive, powerful post-hardcore madness. The riff here is probably the best on the album, and the guitar solo toward the end absolutely rocks. This is the song that will open up the mosh-pits live. Notice also goes to the lyrics. Devil Inside probably features the most aggressive lyrics on the album, with my particular favourite being 'The way you fu** to feel, it's so degrading!' If you want to make a fabulously hardcore song, then look here boys and girls.

9. You're Not Alone 5/5

Time to slow things down a little again after that 6 minute burst of madness; although this definetly isn't a slow song. You're Not Alone is yet another song on the album to feature a great message within it's lyrics, telling it's listeners that they are never alone, there is always somebody there for them. This is one of my favourite Blackout songs, and no doubt will find it's spot on their current live sets aswell as future ones.

10. Keep On Moving 5/5

The penultimate track is beautiful, beautiful indeed. The guitars aren't distorted, instead playing sweet, soft riffs, alongside Sean's (unusually) clean vocals. The song progresses into another brilliant chorus, which is once again easy to sing along with. Gavin repeats 'Keep on moving,' over and over, whilst Sean hangs in the background (sounding alot more emotional than on other tracks) screaming "Where did it go?!" This song reminds me alot of the penultimate track from their last album, 'This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things'. It's beautiful, has a good message for the listener in it's lyrics, yet also manages to have a profound effect on the listener with the emotional sting of Seans backing vocals. Very, very good.

11. The Storm 5/5

The final track is not as bombastically brilliant as the opener. It's not as heavy or crazy as The Devil Inside, and it isn't as emotionally impactful as the previous track. But one thing The Storm does very well is create atmosphere. Slightly muffled vocals in the verses attribute to this nicely, as does the usual shift in vocals between Gavin and Sean. Yet again the chorus is easy to sing along with, but that isn't the best part of the song. In the final half of the song things quiet down, leaving Sean and Gavin to almost whisper the words "Don't tear us apart, don't tear us apart, I'll tear you apart" over and over. Screams slowly begin to break through before the chorus kicks in once again, leading us into the closing seconds of the album. A beautiful, atmospheric ending to an album that my have benefited slightly more from a BIG BANG sort of ending.

All in all, 'Hope' is a very good album. Almost every track is top-notch save for 'The Last Goodbye', which is still pretty darn good. It has it's very heavy momments (No More Waiting, The Devil Inside), it has slower, more emotional tracks (Keep On Moving, Hope) and it has brilliant sing-along momments which were just made to be heard live (Higher & Higher, Ambition Is Critical). Buy it, love it and go see them live; they are superb!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hope, 7 April 2011
This review is from: Hope (Limited Edition Deluxe 2CD) (Audio CD)
This album is beyond words. It's spectacular. It's definitely a less screamy than Best in Town but more me that is a plus. I love the more rock side of this album.
High points for me are Keep on Moving, Ambition is Critical, Hope and You're not alone- this song is the best of any Blackout song I have ever heard.
These boys worked so hard for this album and they did an amazing job, they deserve all the credit they get. Absolutely beautiful album.
<3333
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great band, great album, 4 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Hope (Limited Edition Deluxe 2CD) (Audio CD)
one of my favourite albums. wonderful written and played songs, great live band. nice guys. So, BUY IT, LOVE IT!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Album, 19 Feb 2013
This review is from: Hope (Limited Edition Deluxe 2CD) (Audio CD)
This is an absolutely awesome album, highly recommended for anyone that likes a lighter post-hardcore sound or who just really likes great, catchy music.
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5.0 out of 5 stars AMAZING, 9 Jan 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Hope (Limited Edition Deluxe 2CD) (Audio CD)
I Really love this album, a good mix of songs, well done boys, keep up the good work ;) x.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Blackout - Hope : One Of Best Rock Album in 2011., 17 Jan 2012
This review is from: Hope (Limited Edition Deluxe 2CD) (Audio CD)
Hope is a well written and refined album. The Blackout has stepped up their level, different from their previous work but still massively good. Top tracks of this album are "Hope (Scream It Out Loud)", "Higher & Higher", "Ambition Is Critical" and "The Storm". An album worth listening and getting.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 28 Nov 2011
This review is from: Hope (Limited Edition Deluxe 2CD) (Audio CD)
This album is definately a step up from The Best In Town. The songs are more mature, and there is a mixture of fast paced anthems and slower songs. I'd definately recommend this album for any fan of The Blackout, or anyone wanting something slightly heavier than alternative/pop rock/pop punk music like You Me At Six, Paramore, etc
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4.0 out of 5 stars good one, 6 Sep 2011
This review is from: Hope (Limited Edition Deluxe 2CD) (Audio CD)
That's a good one. (Limited edition deluxe) well that's just a 5 or 6 extra re-edited song. I don't know if that's correct in english. So if you plan to buy it, i think just the regular edition is ok.
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5.0 out of 5 stars They've done it again, 29 July 2011
This review is from: Hope (MP3 Download)
I'll keep it simple: I love this album.
Took a little while to grow on me, but it's awesome.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Blackout - Hope, 3 Jun 2011
This review is from: Hope (Limited Edition Deluxe 2CD) (Audio CD)
This album is phenomenal i totally recommend you buy it. Sean Smith and Gavin Butler's vocals are simply amazing. The album ranges from acoustic to heavy metal. The bonus disc offers 5 covers and an acoustic version of the title track 'Hope'. The main album offers 11 awesome songs leaving each one to be as good as the last. I have this album currently on shuffle constantly. Though not as heavy as some of The Blackout's older albums such as 'We Are The Dynamite' but equally as good. The album also features hit singles 'Higher and Higher' featuring metal rapper Hyro Da Hero and 'Ambition is Critical' Definitely a different move for the Welsh rockers but none the less even better. Fully recommend you give this album or indeed if you haven't listened to The Blackout give them a listen as they'll blow your mind! :) happy listening.
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