House Of Hatchets Album: Reach Release: 21 June 2019
Hard-hitting alt-metal quintet based in Edinburgh, House Of Hatchets have set the bar high when they released the first EP ‘The Grind’ in May 2017. The band continue to grow with their debut album ‘Reach’ which is going to be released on 21st June 2019.
Straight out of the gate, I think the artwork of the album cover is not convincing enough. However, it’s a nice breath away from the generic ‘djenty’ artwork of modern bands.
1. The Moth Song (7/10.)
The start sounds a tad edgy, however, when the song hits it is awesome. The first note is I can’t fault the mix. The snare is a tad quiet but other than that this is a solid sounding record so far. This song is dominated with chunky guitar riffs which are a very good thing! So far, this song is written very well. Remanence of Creeper in this chorus. 1 song in and I’m excited to hear what else is to come.
2. Epitaph (6.5/10.)
Big anthemic start. Already a fan. This song so far concentrates on a more melodic approach. So far, I’m reminded of Rise Against. I’m not entirely sure on the radio effect of the vocals in the verse, but that can be forgiven for a very catchy chorus! The bridge is very effective utilizing the radio vocal style, but I feel it’s overdone in this song. A nice lead guitar outro. I feel these guys would benefit from a bit more lead guitar. They obviously have capable guitarists with the riffs on display.
3. The Sick and the Damned (8/10.)
I love the energy of this album so far. The songwriting so far has been very effective. No one is overstepping their role. I’m a huge fan of the choir. Utilized very tastefully. We return to another catchy chorus. I’m happy to say I believe this will be a theme. I feel this was written as a band effort as opposed to one person because there is a lot of unison sections which I am enjoying a lot. So far, this is the best chorus on the album!
4. Lilith (7/10.)
What a great opening! As I said this band could benefit from some lead guitar and they’re showing me that I was right. This opening is the best far. We return to the radio effect on the vocals, however. This chorus is incredibly uplifting! Big Shinedown vibes here! The transitions into the verses are quite odd, but I can’t say I don’t enjoy the transition. The riffs have not stopped just because we’re focusing on melody, however. The pre-chorus section boasts the best riff so far on this album!
5. Uprising (7.5/10.)
Nice to see a nice amount of diversity with this track. I was wrong about the best riff on the album. This song opening riff is the best on the album! The chorus on this song, however, hasn’t been the strongest. Still very catchy, but the worst on the album so far. That is in no way a bad thing given the quality of choruses this album has boasted. The lead guitar is complimenting the chords in the chorus very nicely! I’m happy with this song as it does give you a sense of change in the album. The ‘We Stand for Nothing’ before the last chorus is a bit overdone with the ol’ autotune, but what can you expect from an album in 2019?
6. Burn (7/10.)
I’m getting big I, Prevail vibes from this song already. This verse is fast and angry. A fan for sure. We have however returned to the radio effects on the vocals. After hearing the pre-chorus, I did not think the chorus would be as good as it was, but that was very catchy! This whole album sounds like something Mark Tramonti of Alter Bridge would release minus a guitar solo every song. This power in those vocals for this chorus is exceptional. We have a second-best chorus on the album ladies and gentlemen! Mixing it up with this breakdown. Awesome use of some natural harmonics!
7. Open Ocean (7/10.)
If you were to show someone this album, this is the song I would choose to show. It has blended everything this band is best at. Riffs, choir sections & melody. So far though, this radio effect is overused on this album. This song had summed up ‘Reach’ perfectly. Something this band has nailed is vocal harmonies!
8. Black and Blue (5.5/10.)
We open again with a riff that Alter Bridge would be proud of! I love these hard rock vibes. This is a good song; however, it stands out the least to me on this album. I have heard this formula used already on 5 songs. This so far feels like the most B-side track. We are dealing with a very capable band, so this doesn’t mean we’ve got a bad song on our hands, however just a similar song to the rest of the album. Maybe this song suffers from following up ‘Open Ocean.’
9. Asylum (7.5/10.)
Something this band is not shy of is writing a big anthem style riff! We have covered the radio effect being overused on this album; however, it fits this song well. The pre-chorus sounded like a hardcore band wrote it, but that adds to the diversity. A great chorus to follow up. Before the Hardcore band takes over, we’re given a cheeky 16th note riff, which is a nice little taste of what these guys are capable of. The best thing about this band is that they all know their roll. It makes for some very well constructed songs! The break down is slightly lackluster, however, I can see it going down very well live.
10. Last One Lost (8/10.)
From the opening, I can already tell this was the best song to close the album with. This song is honestly so good. This like ‘Open Ocean.’ Sums up the band exceptionally. A very big sound coming from these lads. I feel like the amount of reverb is very appropriate for this song. The snare is getting lost a tad, however, that doesn’t make the song bad. They have done a really good job displaying their sound with this album closer. They have incorporated their more hardcore elements in this tune as well. If you had to sum up ‘Reach’ to a new listener, you would have to show them ‘Open Ocean’ and ‘Last One Lost’.
Final thoughts: I was impressed. Melodic, hard-hitting and well-written songs were what graced my ears. My biggest criticism is the overuse of the radio EQ as it made songs sound very similar. Overall, I’d have to give this album a 7/10. Very good job from House Of Hatchets!
– Jack Wood (End Of Daze)
You still have a time to pre-order the album;
Official Website: http://www.houseofhatchets.com