Focused - The Hope That Lies Within

FOCUSED
The Hope That Lies Within
Tooth & Nail Records
1995

I’m probably gonna get some flack for this, but Focused really reminds me a bit of The Crucified. Mostly for the old school hardcore sound (rather than a thrash / hardcore hybrid) and the vocalist. No reason, just thought I’d bring that up. Anyhoo…

Compared to their first album, The Hope That Lies Within shows some progression in the music, mixing some post-hardcore melody in with the down tuned aggression that was prevalent on Bow. This may or may not be a plus for fans of straight hardcore, but for me the album grew on me after a few listens and putting aside preconceptions gained from the debut. The production is very decent here, and the lyrics contain the same passion as on the debut. It’s just that…well, I can’t seem to get past that the “aggressive” parts aren’t as aggressive…like they’ve been muted in the production. Otherwise, good solid follow up to Bow, with some distinctive growth. Not bad…

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