We Struck Gold Album: To Conquer a Fear // All Life is Divine
AMAZING USE OF EXTENDED CHORDS & UNIQUE RHYTHMS TO CREATE AN EXTENSIVE SOUNDING HARMONY. STRAIGHT OUT THE GATE IT SOUNDS LIKE A TOP TIER BAND.
PERVASIVE Post-Hardcore esc vocals, sounding meaningful and sincere. The chorus is laid out so well carrying the flow of the verse well. Also let’s not kid ourselves. That breakdown riff is a solid gold 10/10 and we all know it. I love a well edited mix, but these guitars might be a choppy for the genera. That breakdown at the beginning showing these guys now how to break up a fast-passed head bopper.
TO CONQUER A FEAR (6.5/10.) I can see why this song would be half the title as it isn’t offensive, but it doesn’t live up to the intro song. Whilst it is good, their opening song was on another level. The vocals in this chorus are clearer making it sound a tad more ‘poppy’ which in my opinion is a good thing. It makes the chorus more memorable and easier to sing along with. Around the 2:15 mark it feels like the song almost changes into a different song, but then we’re gifted with something people that read these often will know. I love a guitar solo. Melody was the key here, and they smashed it. The more I listen to this song the more I warm to it, but for me the first song was still on another level.
HIGH HORSE (9/10.) The first thing straight out of the gate here is WHAT A GUITAR TONE. No one warned me about the riff either. This is top level song writing. The song never feels like it is dragging or chopping in pace. The flow is smooth and heavy. I would personally have liked to have heard more clean singing in that chorus than there was. Although this chorus fits the vibe and it was a good calling with the screamed chorus. The second verse breakdown fits the song perfectly in keeping up this high energy vibe. They saved the singing for the end, which like in Wage War’s Alive is a welcomed breath of fresh air. They absolutely smashed this. A guitar solo not too far away from a 10. They definitely… Struck… Gold here.
INTERLUDE (7/10.) A nice break after that absolute face-melter. Unlike most metal, these guys are using rich sounding expanded chords. Focusing on chord tones and their ability is evident. This understanding of chord relationships is part of the reason they sound so expensive.
NO TOMORROW (6.5/10.) Yet again we hit major post hardcore vibes mixed with Lower Than Atlantis. Everything these guys do with their writing always feels in place. As if they have genuinely worked hard to create something they are proud of and it shows. My only criticism with this song is it is a bit ‘riff soup.’ But that is quite often the way with post hardcore. I liked the idea of the guitar being the chorus melody whilst the vocals chant memorable rhythms at you with heartfelt lyrics. These guys are just showing they are not out of song writing techniques yet. The bridge calls back to the vibe of the interlude. It is a nice wall down memory lane. It helps make the album feel cohesive and not just a collection of songs. I do get the feeling this song at 5:50 is a bit long with any big changes. For example, High Horse was 2 minutes shorter and I was far fonder. That probably speaks to the average attention span in 2020 more than We Stuck Gold’s ability to write top hits.
DISSOLVE (8.5/10.) We are shown a whole new side of this band. Previously when I said this album feels cohesive, I hadn’t heard this. That does not change my opinion, rather enhances it. Showing diversity is a key point of an album. The same breakdown/riff/breakdown format works for single, but not albums. This is an absolute hit. Variety is the spice of life and this Miss May I call back is all the variety I need from these guys right now. The melodies through out this song are memorable and impactful. I’m a big fan of this addition to the album.
THE STRIDE (8/10.) So, it turns out that last song created a false sense of security as they come straight back with a punch right to your nose. Hard, fast riffs and big vocals giving a fast-hardcore vibe. It reminds me a lot of Gideon. The clean vocals have a bit of a theme of sounding like something you would hear from a world touring metalcore band in 2012-2014. This isn’t a bad thing; in fact, I love it. This song is for fans of Miss May I & Gideon. There are the chunkiest breakdowns, combined with simple chorus melodies making for a sure-fire bop.
A FALLACY, THAT’S NOT ME (6/10.) For me this is not their best opening. It is genera specific and it sounds convincing, but it is not my favourite genera of metal. The breakdown and chorus combination are far more up my street. Choppy breakdowns and big vocal choruses are a big part of my musical preferences, and the ultimate way to change my mind on a song as apart from the opening 30 seconds, I have loved every moment of this song. We all know how much I like a guitar solo and we are gifted our second one of the albums! Although around the 3-minute mark, we return to the opening vibe, which will most likely please listeners as it’s definitely genera appropriate, it’s just not for me.
DISSOCIATED (7/10.) We are very quickly dragged up to tempo with the whole band joining in unison after a very lovely guitar part. I do like the drastic change in tempo , but not everyone will. There are some clear Pop-Punk vibes in the lyrics. Whilst isn’t not my favourite genera, I do have a soft spot for that type of vocal style/writing, and I’m happy to hear it amongst all the carnage of the aggressive backing. There is a lot happening in a short amount of time in this song. I like the idea of not dragging on and droning, but there is quite a lot of moving parts that are cool to musicians, but maybe not the general listener.
EMBRACE (6.5/10.) Although these guys have opened a few songs with clean guitar, it is not growing old. There are clear hardcore vibes here, whilst as previously mentioned is not my favourite genera, but I would be wrong if I said these guys are not good at making it work. I really like how through this album the guitars have been contradicting each other i9n the mix with intentional panning. It is a good trick that gives the guitarists their own personalities and it sounds like you are listening to a whole band, which suits this music very well. Another example of We Struck Gold’s hardcore influences, these guys did a good job at smashing their genera.
DECEMBER (7/10.) This song so far sounds like an amalgamation of the first 5 songs. That is a good thing in staying consistent, however it does feel like I have already heard that first verse 6 times on this album. The guitars in this song are unique and interesting, which for me is a big thing. I am biased as a guitarist, but they are a big part of metal, so allow me. There are a huge lead guitar synth trade of at the end, whilst is easily one of the best sections on the entire album giving me serious Celine Dion vibes.
VOICELESS (7/10.) For an album closer I am not getting ‘epic’ vibes. I feel like I am just hearing another song on the album. Maybe that is just because it is a merger of 2 EP’s, but I would personally like a big left field ending. Being the shortest song on the album, I feel like this song could have definitely been in the middle of the album, as this song is what people will leave remembering. Although it’s a well written song, I can’t help but feel like either Dissolve or High Horse would have been a better album closer. This song is business as usual with We Struck Gold. Chanty choruses and skank beats with big chords.
Overall this is a great album. There is a lot of diversity, which I love in album. Variety is the spice of life. These guys combine heavy and melodic beautifully. My only criticism is the verses are similar in parts, but that does not take away from We Struck Gold. A band to follow, 100%.
We Struck Gold “To Conquer a Fear // All Life is Divine” (8/10.)
For Fans Of: Miss May I, Lower Than Atlantis, Gideon & Ambleside PERVASIVE.
– Jack Wood (End Of Daze)