They may appear new to the game but a meticulously planned launch has seen Indiana’s Hope Remains immediately establish themselves as one of the most professional bands around.
Preparation from as far back as 2014 enabled the Richmond metalcore outfit to burst onto the scene with hugely impressive debut album Visions and Memories in 2017 – which actually preceded the band going public officially. The album, which was recorded in the same studio as August Burns Red’s Grammy-nominated Found In Far Away Places, reflects the band’s aim of delivering industry-standard quality music from the get-go.
They sent us Breathing Again, from the album, which opens up with building chords under a piercing lick that build into an atmospheric opening instrumental section. It dives into a barrage of huge screamed vocals from frontman Edgar Martinez under fun diving guitars then big atmospheric guitars support melodic vocals, but swiftly give way to another onslaught of a verse.
A second chorus gives way to big atmospheric guitars then driving drums under a mass of screamed vocals and layers of guitar drop into big low-tuned guitar chords under screamed vocals. Cool stabbing guitars support the high-pitched lick alongside big driving drums to bring this huge track to an ending. Check it out in the video below:
Find out more about the band’s debut music video in the ‘Making Of’ video for Breathing Again below:
The album is packed with hard-hitting metal goodness, including the intense second track The Perspective. Static intro noise gives way to a barrage of screams and doomy drums then a big drum roll feeds into a darting riff and more booming screamed vocals. Give it a listen below:
While From Tomorrow is another high point on a seriously good album. A cool darting lick and booming low-tuned riffs and heavy drums feed into a singalong chorus, then explode into another blast of heavy metal goodness. Check it out below:
And the album goes out in style with the more atmospheric, melodic closing track Stand Before Us.
We chatted to guitarist Jacob Smart to find out more about the band’s well-planned assault on the metal scene. Read on below…
GR: Who are Hope Remains?
JS: “Hope Remains is an energetic metalcore act from Richmond, Indiana. When I started the project (back in 2014), I did so using a long term plan. The idea was to release industry-standard quality material right out of the gate, from day one. The first five years were spent setting all of the pieces in place, before any touring or even any live shows. I used that time bringing the sound, image, and online aspects of the project to a competitive level.”
GR: Sounds interesting! What can you tell us about the process of building the band?
JS: “Before going truly ‘public,’ we had recorded a full-length album at a studio that was producing grammy nominated music. We had that album nominated for Best Metal/Hardcore Album at the 16th annual IMA’s, recorded and released a professional music video, designed and set up a pro website, had CDs and custom merchandise printed, had all pro gear, and even went as far as to commission a light show timed to our live set (as well as actually purchase the lights themselves).
“So, before playing a single show, we had been set up to play anything from an opening set to a full-blown headlining set. And, after everything was in place, anyone that saw us live could easily find us online and recognize us as already being a professionally ‘signed’ act.
“In today’s market, especially in metal, it seems you can lose people so easily, and permanently, on first impressions. So the idea, my hope, was to look signed from day one, to be the professionals that newcomers would get excited to discover, and to never lose a single potential fan due to a “new-band” appearance.”
GR: What inspires you to write music? And key themes or topics that you write about?
JS: “The lyrics tend to be themed toward positivity, with a focus on introspective thought. Breathing Again, as well as the song’s music video, certainly fall in line with this motif. The album that the song is from, Visions And Memories, is an abstract concept album, detailing a journey of defeat and self-realization.”
GR: What have you got coming up in 2020?
JS: “2020 is set to be a big year, with any luck we will be on the road, and then back in the studio for album number two.”