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Christian Music - Reviews, News, Interviews

Pressure the Hinges

  • reviewed by Christa Banister Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2007 1 Mar
Pressure the Hinges
Sounds like … hardcore peers including Underoath and He Is Legend, with a melodic twist influenced by classic metal rockers like Def Leppard and AC/DC.At a glance … even without former lead singer Jimmy Ryan, the band continues to record high quality hardcore that's always evolving, this time blending catchy rock with the screaming.Track Listing Eye of the Needle
Pressure the Hinges
The Minor Prophets
The Oracle
White Collar
Janet's Planet
Servant Ties
Chorus of Angels

Like the lineup of your favorite pro sports team, a rock band's roster is always changing. With so few notable exceptions (like The Rolling Stones, U2, and Third Day), it's not exactly headline news when a new member is added to the lineup. Nevertheless, it was a huge surprise in late 2005 for Indianapolis-based hardcore outfit Haste the Day when lead singer Jimmy Ryan announced he was leaving the band. His reason was certainly understandable, wanting to focus on his new marriage. But it left the band's future uncertain, as fans would eventually debate on message boards how replacement Stephen Keech would fare.

As the old saying goes, the show must go on, and Haste the Day has impressively continued their musical evolution with their third outing, Pressure the Hinges. While the band has always brought something unique to the hardcore genre, this new material is a step above anything the group has done before.

Though the lyrics certainly provide more insight into where the band is coming from spiritually (particularly the insightful musings of "The Minor Prophets" and "The Oracle"), it's the quality of production that has improved the most. With the help of GGGarth (Rage Against the Machine, Chevelle), the raw emotion of the lyrics is ultimately executed with increased panache and mainstream market sophistication.

Pressure the Hinges has all the usual hardcore elements with plenty of screaming and heavy-hitting guitar riffs, but now there's also a newfound melodic sensibility that makes it more palatable to fans of more straightforward rock as well—as heard on the stellar title track and "Stitches." Before any fans cry "sell-out," however, the emotion-packed strains of "White Collar" and the epic, movie soundtrack-worthy closer "Chorus of Angels" should alleviate any concerns. Oh, and as for Keech, he does a fantastic job of filling in for Ryan—the icing on the cake when it comes to this project's many virtues.

© Christa Banister, subject to licensing agreement with Christianity Today International. All rights reserved. Click for reprint information.