Release Date: June 28, 2005
Reviewed by Scott Olivenbaum
A Life Once Lost named their new album Hunter for a reason: they are the hunter, you are the prey. And they are coming after you.
They use a crushing mix of mathcore, stoner metal groove and chaos to smack you senseless and reel you in. The vocals relentlessly scream as the guitars pair with the drums to batter the ear before (occasionally) opening into smooth rhythms that lulls with groove or repetition. The tracks “Vulture” and “Pain & Panic” epitomize this, with few classic thrash metal bridges and solos to boot.
While Robert Meadows’ screams aren’t as clear as Jamey Jasta’s barks, A Life Once Lost’s message is much the same of Hatebreed: look out for number one. The lyrics, once deciphered are pretty much simple: self-confidence and the ambition to do what it takes to get what you want are qualities to be prized. But the technical precision of the music is far from that of the more direct testosterone-core bands like Hatebreed. The songs don’t offer any typical hardcore breakdowns; there is no pandering to mosh pits.
There are several down points to the album; the drums rely too much on the brass, while the bass is too often lost in the mix. The music rarely relents over the half hour and can seem quite repetitive. The few solos and softer intros offer welcome respite. For all of the complexity of the timing, the band pretty much keeps the same formula, leading to the aforementioned repetition.