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A Shattered Hope - Bandwidth Band of The Week
Written By - Montana
I still remember the first time that I heard of A Shattered Hope. 3 years ago I was casually I was flipping through Alternative Press’ “100 Bands You Need To Know” and while perusing the unsigned bands section I saw these crazy dudes in a photo playing playing a pinball machine. I had just moved from San Diego to Victorville, California so the fact that the band’s location was in North County caught my attention immediately. As usually happens in my life some sort of stupid drama distracted me and I actually forgot to check them out - so imagine my surprise when I found out the band that I noticed back in the day was our featured band of the week.
A Shattered Hope or ASH as their fans call them are one of the hardest metalcore bands to emerge in recent memory. Combining industrial-sounding metal and aggression worthy of anger management, these mofos can bring it hard and fast. Helmed by double leads Tyler Ferguson and Nate Hess they achieve the reliable hardcore scream vs clean vocals sound with great effectiveness. Ferguson’s growls are clear and have a vibrant tone that allow fo easy comprehension of the lyrics. Too often screamers howl without worrying about clarity all the while hoping that their fans get their message; Ferguson avoids this with sharp snappy biting vocals.
Hess is wonder in and of himself. Drummers who can sing are few and far between for a reason; that crap is hard to pull off! Playing rhythm beats while singing non-syncopated rhythms! Dear freaking god that’s tough! Usually singers tend to gravitate towards guitar or even bass and rarely do they isolate the drums but Hess did. His very presence makes ASH stand apart from the fray, a clean vocalist on the drums is what live show attendees have wet dreams about. Hess’ vocals are strong, visible, and wavering like a storm torch in a tornado. Let’s not forget his drums are pretty epic in their own right.
Rounding out the rest are Scott Szikla and Nic Walker on guitar and bass respectively. The unsung hero of ASH is Szikla and his dominatingly crunchy guitar lines. While he never solos more than a few bars his lines act as sort of 3rd vocalist, it’s that pronounced. It’s not often that you encounter a hardcore band that decides to roll with only 1 guitarist but then again not all guitar players are made cut from the same cloth as Szikla. Walker’s bass work is also quite good. In our listening sessions of their new EP “See You At The Grammy’s” Randall, our editor and wannabe boss, told me “Listen to that kid’s bass playing, he’s Wil E. Coyote dynamite!” He’s got a point, while some bassists resort to acrobatic finger dancing, Walker’s bass is smooth and unrelenting through every track - never flashy but always dependably keeping the beat. That type of unselfish dedication is rare.
To see A Shattered Hope grow into a progressive metal, hardcore force to be reckoned with is mind boggling. Their music is face-smashing and even occasionally laced with a southern rock edge reminiscent of that one Kid Rock song that always seems to get stuck in your head. The more melodic tones in their music contrast like salt and pepper with the harder screams that often erupt like Krakatoa. This is the way hardcore music was originally intended to be: More intense than choosing red wire from blue while being understandable and relatable. These guys aren’t going anywhere and the brilliance of their first studio EP shows it. Familiarize yourself with their badassery and prepare to loes some of your hearing to their punishing and pummelling crazy-hobo fervor.