Review: When The Deadbolt Breaks ‘As Hope Valley Burns: Eulogy’

Eight seconds. That’s allegedly the average attention span of an adult (well it is mine!). One more fun fact, a goldfish can apparently stay focused for nine seconds. IF that statistic is true, then you’ve already moved on to something else. In the hope that you haven’t already (like the next fantastic review posted on The Sleeping Shaman) then I shall continue.

When The Deadbolt Breaks 'As Hope Valley Burns: Eulogy'

With all the news When The Deadbolt Breaks is sharing this year, they’re constantly at our forefront and keeping our attention for quite some time, and certainly more than eight seconds, with two full-lengths announced for release in late 2021. For this review I’m here to talk about As Hope Valley Burns: Eulogy, the second chapter of the two albums, albeit the first to be released, through Electric Talon Records on Halloween, that’s this Sunday, 31st October.

Available on CD and digital download only, at first, I was disappointed. My vinyl collection is growing rapidly and having both these albums side by side would have been pretty neat, especially with the varying cover art. But then I heard the third track Gods Eyes. I realized not all music should be heard through the speakers of your home stereo. This needs to be spread through the streets using my car stereo! The song sounds better loud and moving at 70 plus miles an hour. Aaron Lewis reaches new depths with his guttural vocals, while Charlie Sad Eyes (bass) and Rob Birkbeck (drums) keep the song moving with a heavy fast groove that pushes the gas pedal closer and closer to the floor.

Aaron Lewis reaches new depths with his guttural vocals, while Charlie Sad Eyes (bass) and Rob Birkbeck (drums) keep the song [Gods Eyes] moving with a heavy fast groove…

Going out of order, I want to backtrack to the twelve-minute opener I Live In The Dirt. As a guitar player, I tend to listen to music as a lesson, rather than enjoyment. I Live In The Dirt is a fantastic song and it’s great to put on and listen to. However, I’m intrigued by the guitar. Those palm-muted riffs that stop, yet still manage to echo out at around the five-minute mark, hit my ears perfectly. That section as a whole gives me a SUMAC Thorn In The Lion’s Paw vibe, which is initially what opened the world of SUMAC to me. I love that tone and strive to create something similar myself one day. And don’t get me started on the solo that closes out the track. That reverb tone is damn near perfect and the phrasing is heartfelt. I’ve recently been working on better phrasing myself, so this song really stands out as an inspiration to better my own playing and style.

Can we even talk about When The Deadbolt Breaks without discussing the unique twist they put on a The Doors song? I didn’t think so as this fifth gem on the album is no exception, and I feel makes it worthy of your time as they put their heavy spin on Not To Touch The Earth. It’s a song I hadn’t previously heard, so I thank When The Deadbolt Breaks for introducing me to it. The original is great with a classic The Doors sound, but WTDB takes that sound and elevates it to an all-new level. If you’ve ever wondered what The Doors would have sounded like if they were around today, and had a few more fuzz pedals to play with, then look no further because I believe this is it.

The album from start to finish is riddled with moments like I’ve mentioned. They ebb and flow between heavy and serene, and listening as one combined effort is how I believe it’s supposed to be heard. I could go into detail about each song, but I tried to pick five vastly different reasons to give this album a solid listen and how it could appeal to many different audiences. The remaining songs are all fantastic in their own way and should be explored. They weren’t left out because they’re subpar, but rather to allow you to form your own opinions and a unique connection to the uncompromising music Aaron Lewis and his cohorts have created within.

Label: Electric Talon Records
Band Links: Facebook | Bandcamp | Instagram

Scribed by: Josh Schneider