1. Four Leaves War 2. No Pity On The Ants 3. As The Darkness Surrounds 4. Now Your Suffering Ends 5. Today Is A Good Day To Die 6. Killing The Fool 7. The Ashes in your Mouth 8. Silencing the Angels 9. Deepest of Wounds 10. Blood of the Uncut 11. The Reflections that Bleed
The underground cult-classic band of Broken Hope split up back in 2001 after releasing a handful of seminal albums during death metal’s formative years in the early 90’s. They were rarely as fast as Cannibal Corpse, as flashy as Morbid Angel, or as extreme as Immolation, but they were damn heavy, and were well known for it. However, their later work lagged as the Floridian style they favored lost the limelight and the public’s attention turned to new and experimental interpretations.
This would not be the end for guitarist Jeremy Wagner, though. Soon after Broken Hope’s disbanding, he started another group on his own with a fresh crop of talent. With Lupara, named the band after the sawed-off shotguns used by the Mafioso in Mario Puzo novels, he aimed for a new perspective on the genre while still keeping the blue-collar sound of his roots. The result generated positive press from groups like Obituary, Soil, even Slipknot, and landed them touring dates alongside A-list talent.
Lupara’s press kit, however glowing, could only offer so much assistance, though, and ultimately the music must speak for itself. And this is where things for Lupara start to break down. Nostalgic fans of Broken Hope, you who look for the torch old the old school to be relit, there is no champion for you here.
Bluntly, this is not comparable to even the weakest moments of Broken Hope’s final throes. Although Lupara’s predecessors were not always a paragon of highbrow dynamics, they never stooped to the breakdown and ‘core’ saturated antics that pervade Lupara’s self-titled debut. Perhaps it is simply because their career predated the metalcore wave—one might argue they hopped on the death metal bandwagon during its heyday—but the fact remains that they were around from that movement’s beginning, whereas Lupara is treading old and tired paths.
Between the vocals (a hybrid of shouts and growls belting out the most sophomoric of angsty lyrics), the crude guitar arrangements, and the tinny, directionless solos, Lupara wearily beats a dead horse that was never all that great to begin with.
For the sake of clarification: metalcore done right can be exciting, youthful, and an all-around fun experience that will pump up a crowd right quick; at its worst, it is tedious, churlish, and simply a waste of the audience’s and instruments’ time. Though done up with some a handful of solos and an amateur homage to Death (‘The Ashes in Your Mouth’), Lupara is still unforgivably the latter. Don’t be misled by the celebrity endorsements or the claim to veteran fame.
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