"Arrivals/Departures" (Tribunal Records; 2004)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

Although I was familiar with Haste as a hardcore outfit from songs on various compilations, I was a bit taken aback when a friend recommended the band's third album "The Mercury Lift" to me. Consequently, I was introduced to a genre that I really hadn't paid much attention to as Haste began to blend hardcore, metal, and emo into an intoxicating mix known as melodic hardcore (or the dreaded 'screamo' tag). it wasn't too hard to guess that other bands would rise to prominence in various media outlets.

School For Heroes tread the emo-metal/emo-hardcore waters quite well and add a touch of nu-metal's sense of rhythmic dynamics in heaviness. However, most melodic hardcore bands will forever be judged by their use of melody and unmitigated rage. School For Heroes fall on the side of more melody than rage this isn't a bad thing, but I figure most fans of this genre are looking for more rage than melody and not the other way around.

While most of the disc is unremarkable from the standpoint of originality, "Sitting By The Wayside" is probably my most favorite track because it just seems to work with its blend of metallic riffs, seeming perfect vocals, and interesting lead guitar work. However, a most annoying track ends the disc the Burning The Bed remix of "Catholic School Girls Are For Heroes" is disjointed and practically unlistenable.

"Arrivals/Departures" is generally pleasing to listen to, but overall it just doesn't stick to my ribs like other bands in the melodic hardcore genre. Apparently "Arrivals/Departures" is a compilation album of sorts for the band looking both at their past and perhaps shedding a little light on the band's future not yet explored on their full-length CDs.

School For Heroes' "Arrivals/Departures" is for fans of Haste, Narcissus, and similar bands too numerous to mention.

"Arrivals/Departures" was produced by Jamie King and School For Heroes.

School For Heroes: Adrian Gabriel Martinez on vocals, Thomas Charles Beagles and Dax Owen Nelson on guitars, Asa Ovingtond Palmer III on bass, and Joel Saurez on drums.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2004 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 11 Sep 2022 13:46:19 -0400.