It always seems like post-hardcore outfit Hail The Sun is pushing the boundaries and genre conventions. Their fifth full length entry, New Age Filth is no different. Upon my first listening at midnight, I have some general thoughts on the record I would like to share. Similar to last year’s Afterburner, every April post-hardcore release can be anticipated from a bigger band in the scene. Maybe soon Rise will release Eidola’s The Architect after fans have been begging for it, given the most recent merger with Blue Swan Records. I digress.
Domino: This is up there in the S-tier of Hail The Sun singles. Any fans of polyrhythms will be pleasantly surprised at both the technicality and mainstream accessibility of this one. Oh and that sweet outro.
Slander: An interesting track to be listed as the second in the album sequencing. I like to compare this one to Dance Gavin Dance’s “Midnight Crusade” from Artificial Selection. Upon first listen I wasn’t entirely impressed, since I was expecting mad heavy vibes. But this song has a great interplay of building tension and release.
Solipsism: This tune seems like a blending of sonic pallets from all previous albums. Kris Crummet’s production is also phenomenal. And that man is THE GUY in the scene. Suffolk vibes in the outro that leads into “Misfire”.
Misfire: Oh hi, it’s me, The Mars Volta, and I’ve been reincarnated for this one song. If you haven’t checked out Deloused in the Comatorium then you need to. This song feels like an evolutionary child of “Drunkship of Lanterns”, in the most Hail The Sun fashion ever performed. Quite possibly my new favorite.
Made Your Mark: I won’t lie, this song was a bit off-putting when I was expecting something a bit heavier. But I always forget that Hail The Sun isn’t just heavy or soft 100% of the time. That would be quite dull. This song was a strange choice as a final single, but I think it will grow on me.
Slipped My Mind: Dare I say this is the most mainstream Hail The Sun can get? This is not even a jab at them, but this reminds me of earlier 2000’s punk revival bands. Makes me long for a time when I was a child and listening to Downtown Battle Mountain when I was certainly too young to. Nature or nurture? I have a strange feeling that this song has some inspiration from Avenged Sevenfold a bit. That outro specifically.
Parasitic Cleanse: A song about humanity’s vices and that has incredible lyricism. I also think this song mislead people to think this album would be incredibly heavy the entire time. I’ve listened to this song way too much so I’m a bit burned on it. But it has Wake era vibes that have been missing for a long time. Just as good as “Domino”.
Hysteriantics: MAJOR Mental Knife vibes, and Donny’s vocals punch through this mix beautifully (well really the entire album because Kris Crummett is the best in the biz). I almost get a feeling that if stylistically these chords were played differently, they could compliment a blues or hard rock anthem. Lots of chromatic tomfoolery. And we enjoy that don’t we? AND THE BREAKDOWN MAKES ME MISS SIANVAR!!! I want another Swancore supergroup because my ears need more blessings.
Devluation: Every Hail The Sun album needs a pseudo acoustic song, and this is the one. On Mental Knife, the equivalent was “On Existence”, and Culture Scars it was “Never Kill a Mouse; Let It Kill Itself”. That vocal processing was so interesting too, the major rotating panning of Donny’s angelic voice. PROTECT IT AT ALL COSTS.
Punch Drunk: This one feels like a baby between Nova Charisma and Sianvar. Honestly, for a closer, I was a bit surprised. But I shouldn’t judge. When you are creating art this chaotic, track sequencing might not be the biggest priority. It IS still a banger. This may have been better as a single, but I am not mad that it is the closer. I also thought that “Into the Sunset” was a trash closer last year for Afterburner, and then I grew accustomed to it.
Final Analysis: I need to let this album marinate in my brain for a while. It will tide me over until Eidola’s The Architect (come on Rise we are ALL WAITING). We are supposed to get new Royal Coda soon I suppose. Regardless, this album is fantastic. I am not sure if it surpasses Wake just yet, but perspectives do change. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the other lovelies of the band, John Stirrat on Bass, Shane Gann on Guitar, and Aric Garcia on the other Guitar. They mold so well and HOT TAKE, Hail The Sun is arguably more musically interesting than Dance Gavin Dance (I will regret saying this later but this is fine).
Thank you for coming to my review. Now go listen to that album. I’ll be back for The Architect once Rise figures itself out. Peace.