This Belgian hardcore isn’t going to give you a headache but it might rattle your brains enough to displace them.
If you’re okay with that, Rise and Fall’s Faith is their fourth installment of abrasive hardcore outpouring. Remorse isn’t an option for sound as opener “A Hammer and Nails” completely rips and pounds away at your heart, head, and ears.
It’s like it reminds you of Converge. Waaait a second. It should. Faith was recorded at (let’s just call it) the God City Studios by Converge guitarist Kurt Ballou. He also happens to appear on the atmospheric-expanding (by hardcore’s standards) “Things Are Different Now.” Let alone, the album cover, as if you need telling, is designed by Converge vocalist Jacob Bannon. Just look at it. It’s not a stretch to say the background looks like the Converge/Dropdead 7”. And there are different versions of the artwork as each version’s “hands of god” symbol are different colors representing the classical elements – earth, wind, water, and fire.
But Faith is pretty much straight up fire, so we’ll go with the orange one. Guitarist Cedric Goetgebuer tests the limits of his instrument technically and in general. On “Hidden Hands” there’s a tiny metal guitar solo in there just to vary what’s going on but not at all destroying hardcore as we know it.
Therefore Faith must be all about the dramatic shift between quiet and loud. This is never more prevalent than in “Escapism” where a noticeable bass rhythm along with the guest vocals of Kevin Baker (All Pigs Must Die/ The Hope Conspiracy) take hold. Together Baker and Rise and Fall’s vocalist, Bjorn Dossche shout, “It’s the warmth of a lie/ It’s sweet submission/ But you’re being bled dry.”
Dossche’s drastic vocal approach and the band’s rhythm never leave because Rise and Fall have that slow and somehow chaotic headbang trudge that most Deathwish Inc. bands have. For a place where most Americans only think of chocolate, this may actually be Belgium’s finest.
Ending in the masterpiece “Faith/Fate,” the record becomes removed from all the insane sound there was. There’s nothing but actual audio of the heartbeat of one of the bandmate’s newborn daughter. This makes it as classical and down-to-earth as the motifs of the elements are. It’s something incredibly, incredibly pure as the last lines are: “Love for the loveless/ Hope for the hopeless/ Faith for the faithless/ Speech for the speechless.”