Rise and Fall - FaithFrom Ghent, Belgium, Rise and Fall are no one new to the hardcore/punk scene. Formed in 2002 from the ashes of The Deal and Kingpin, these vagabonds have toured tirelessly and continue to put out musical quality; sonic sound levels and intense live stage presence keeping their appearances at festivals all over Europe in high demand. With the release of the album “Faith” this March, I can’t see these guys stopping any time soon and this makes me more than happy.

Someone may as well just put ‘Deceiver’ on repeat, because I could listen to that track all day. “If this is real, how can I escape, the emptiness surrounding me?” begs a really honest question, plagued by the realization that the truth doesn’t always fill the void. While we work shitty jobs and spend the day “singing someone else’s song” of what life is supposed to consist of, apathy and emptiness ferment and all we’re left with is “filth and lies.” Crashing right into it with Wim’s aggressive and powerful control of the drum kit, you’re off with the crash of his cymbals; Bjorn chants with fervorous accusation that could make a banker crawl behind his desk in fear.

With ‘The Gallows Await’ to follow, it may as well be looped along with ‘Deceiver.’  With a hook that builds with energy every time, bursting to frenzy like steam from a kettle, it could rile up even the dullest crowd. ‘Burning at Both Ends’ excites the listener with its immediate sense of urgency. More destructive than a bomb, “Faith” keeps on ticking after every explosion.

The middle of the album seems more stylistically tied to their previous releases. “Things Are Different Now” takes things down a notch, taming the instrumentals with the odd display of Cedric’s guitar showmanship and allows the vocals to carry the emotional baggage through a barren wasteland. Vince shadows ‘Breath’ in heavy bass, taking this track to a deeper and darker apostle of solitude, creating a welcome interlude to the rampant speed of the rest of the albums pacing.

As soon as I heard ‘Dead Weight’ for the first time, all I could think was “Dear god, please let me be in the center of the moshing that will ensue upon the first note of this track if I ever witness Rise and Fall live.,” and I’m not a religious woman by any means. If anyone or anything has ever called for a circle pit, this is it! Ending heavy heartedly with “Faith / Fate”, the longest track on Faith, which features the heartbeat of Vince’s newborn daughter, I was left feeling relieved, embodied and understood and honestly, there’s not much more you can ask for from a great hardcore album; It’s that real.

It’s no surprise that Rise and Fall have become one of the most successful European hardcore acts of all time and this release just adds to their accreditation. Hands down, “Faith” is a solid album for 2012 and well worth the listen; or loops of repetition if you know what’s good for you.

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