A Hero A Fake
The Future Again
The third album from North Carolina deathcore quintet A Hero A Fake feels like the band wants to be heavier than they are. Justin Brown’s harsh vocals don’t have the impact of, say, Frankie Palmeri of Emmure; he just sounds like he’s trying to battle through a particularly nasty sore throat. The clean vocals, which should in theory provide a melodic counterpoint to the raw bellowing, are too nasal to offer any real relief, though; they’re more sneered than sung. There are some nice, crispy-crunchy guitar riffs here and there, and subtle keyboard whooshes add depth to the mix, but the production is a little too ultra-modern and digital; it sounds like it could have all been punched together with sampling software. The drums in particular are so triggered and precise, it’s hard to even understand why the drummer deserves credit in the liner notes. The songs all blend together—and considering there are only eight of them, packed into less than 28 minutes, it’s hard not to feel underwhelmed (even cheated, if you’re a longtime fan). And yet, there’s just enough catchiness, small surprises (like the Spanish-speaking female on “Dead And Done” or the almost-’80s-rock guitar riffs on “Port Hole”), and general goodness to make The Future Again worth investigation, no matter how tired you think you are of crunching, chugging metalcore. A Hero A Fake do bring something genuinely new to the table—both good and bad.