HOURCAST – State Of Disgrace

HOURCAST - State Of Disgrace
  • 6/10
    HOURCAST - State Of Disgrace - 6/10


Release date: May 2, 2006

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

Alkamedia? What a strange name for a label –- maybe only in Germany, where alcohol is written with a “K.” Well, after the first smile about the “boozing boys” who are behind the label, Hourcast gives you over 53 minutes, causing you to do two things simultaneously: First, you look at the cover painting and try to figure out what the heck the guys wanted to say with it? The small image you can see here does not do it justice. Actually, even the CD booklet does not. This is one of the instances where you wish the times of vinyl album covers would return … especially the fish (is that a sheatfish?) on the top and bottom of the pic makes you knit your brows. Secondly, you wonder why you tap your fingers and nod your head to music that is not so unusual at all?

The Boston foursome seem to have the right recipe to make themselves a name with their debut album State Of Disgrace, while at the same time not leaving the normal paths of Hard Rock. They write really catchy songs and can impress with a convincingly good singer, Patrick McBride (and don’t say you disagree that those are the first two steps for any success). Patrick has a very melodic voice, but the band often tries to hide it behind effects, screams, and aggressive shouts. That gives high marks for variety, but they never stray too far from the familiar ground and always remain between Gothic (e.g., “This Life”), Industrial (e.g., “God Failed”), Hard Rock (e.g., “Lunar”) and Modern Metal (e.g., “Sakkara”). Especially the latter is probably a good comparison if their style needs to be described, as they have quite a few things in common with Nickelback, Staind, and Linkin Park. That also is a good scale to weigh their heavyness, and the songwriting follows a similar path. And Hourcast’s album is better than the most recent album of at least one of the three above …

The instrumentation does not impress much: the guitar riffing is unspectacular, but extremely effective. Guitar freaks should nonetheless at least listen to a few tunes first before buying the album, as the songs are much more important than the skills on strings for Hourcast. Bass and drums and the keys, which are played by singer McBride too, are not to be mentioned for originality. But, it works … and that is what you want from a Rock song in the end, don’t you?

There are a few minor points of criticism -– be reminded that this is an independent debut album -– to be mentioned: The ballad “Memories And Lies” does not live up to the Band’s songwriting capabilities. That ties in to the second negative point: The album is quite long with a total of 13 songs … since there is not much variety present, a few tracks less, maybe taken from the middle of the album where some fillers are sneaked in, would probably have increased the positive overall impression of State Of Disgrace. That is even more so as the last song, “Imbalance,” ends after 3.5 minutes, and then continues with the album’s brilliant opening track “This Life.” Only the same song follows again as a hidden track, and that is a bit too much.

Then again, complaining about having too many songs on the album is quite absurd if the rest would constitute for a very solid purchase for this genre already. The band streams several tracks on their Web site, so it is easy to check for yourself if this is an album you should have in your collection. But, you have been warned -– it is damn catchy …


  • Frank Jaeger

    Frank was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio, based out of Bavaria, Germany. He has worked in the games industry for more than 20 years, now on the manufacturing side, before on the publishing end. Before this, he edited and handled the layout for a city mag in northern Germany ... maybe that is why he love being part of anything published. Frank got hooked on Metal at the age of 14 when a friend introduced him to AC/DC. They were listening to The Beatles, Madness, and The Police, and he decided they should move on. Well, they did, Back in Black became Frank's first Metal album, and since Germany is reasonably close to England, they had some small New Waves Of British Heavy Metal washing up on their shores: Tygers Of Pan Tang, Samson, Gillan, Iron Maiden, Saxon, Sweet Savage, Diamond Head, etc. If he had to pick his favorite styles, Prog and Power Metal would be at the top of the list.

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