Iwrestledabearonce- Hail Mary

Rating: 4/5
Distributor/label: Artery Recordings
Released: 2015
Buy Album: http://arteryrecordings.merchnow.com/products/201485/hail-mary-cd–digital-download-bundle
Band Website: http://www.iwrestledabearonce.com/


Courtney LaPlant – lead vocals
Steven Bradley – lead guitar, programming
Mikey Montgomery – drums, backing vocals
Mike “Rickshaw” Martin – bass
Mike Stringer – rhythm guitar


01. Gift Of Death
02. Remain Calm
03. Green Eyes
04. Erase It All
05. Curse The Spot
06. Doomed To Fall Pt. 1
07. Doomed To Fall Pt. 2
08. Killed TO Death
09. Trips
10. Man Of Virtue
11. Carbon Copy
12. Wade In The Water
13. We All Float Down Here
14. Your God Is Too Small


Iwrestledabearonce have grown (even) angrier since “Late For Nothing”, in the sense that they’ve added more aggression to the mathcore/experimental/post-whatever that they play. But at the same time, there seems to be more thought in their songwriting, some purpose. Yes, the change in tempos and between genres is still deranged, but while I’ve always had the feeling that Iwrestledabearonce had a let’s-make-some-noise-because-we-can attitude, “Hail Mary” makes me look at them as a band which is actually putting some effort in being creative. More than angrier, I’d say they’ve grown mature.

“Gift Of Death”, “Remain Calm” or “Wade In The Water” are just a few examples of that, where their usual tech-meets-grind is seasoned with more refined details. In “Green Eyes” we can hear how Courtney LaPlante’s clean pitch is as strong and steady as her growls, while “Doomed To Fail – part I” shows us a more seductive, feminine side. The guitar solo here would fit in a heavy metal ballad, and indeed the part II of the song IS a ballad. And then, so just you won’t forget the true nature of the band, comes the most aggressive track in the album, “Killed To Death”.

If you’re a fan of the band and/or genre, “Hail Mary” will make your day. If you’re not, there’s nothing here that will make you change your mind. But if you’re somewhere in-between, give them another chance. This album might get you to take Iwrestledabearonce more seriously.

Review by Renata Lino