METALMANCE RETROSPECTIVE: The Hurt Process

A look back at one of Britain’s unsung heroes. Feat. a Q&A with vocalist Daniel Lawrence.

Over the festive period, one particular band announcement proved to be one of the best gifts of the season. I’m not talking about all those MY CHEMICAL ROMANCE reunion posts and teasers. No, no. I’m talking about the return of British metalcore darlings THE HURT PROCESS and their announcement of a reunion show this year (London, 23rd April to be exact). It seems all the 30-somethings who honed their emo craft to the band’s music, are now crawling out of the woodwork faster than you can say “Myspace”.

After forming in the early noughties, the band achieved success both here in the UK and over the pond in the US after a successful stint on the Warped Tour in 2004. Shortly after the release of the second album A Heartbeat Behind in 2005, the band split up. It seems they split just as emo and melodic hardcore really hit the big time. As THE HURT PROCESS shrivelled into obscurity, their American contemporaries catapulted to stardom i.e. SILVERSTEIN, HAWTHORNE HEIGHTS amongst others.

With such strong roots and oodles of promise, it seems a shame THE HURT PROCESS never quite became a staple band in British metal history. At the height of their success, British fans were also obsessing over the likes of FUNERAL FOR A FRIEND, HUNDRED REASONS and MILLION DEAD whose legacy seem to hold greater stead. Did THE HURT PROCESS break up too soon? Didn’t they look emo enough? Were the dual vocals too radical? Who knows.

THE HURT PROCESS did nail the glorious emo/metalcore sound of the early noughties but with an added post-hardcore crunch. Being British they sounded less whiny and nodded less to pop punk than their peers overseas. After numerous line-up changes over the years and their sound maturing with each release, THE HURT PROCESS ended on a metalcore high. I think their crossover appeal will ensure the band have the freedom to experiment with styles if they dabble in writing new material.


THE HURT PROCESS – Drive By Monologue. Year: 2003.

After two successful EPs (Another Day and Last Goodbye) the band released the absolute gem that is Drive By Monologue. Raw, honest and charmingly melodic, this album encompassed everything that the golden age of melodic hardcore harnessed. The riffs are rock solid on this album and still make your inner-emo shake its studded-belted-butt. The first two tracks This Piece and White Butterflies (The Sky Bleeding) are two of the best songs the band ever wrote; This Piece captured that glorious early noughties melodic hardcore sound as well as the awesome dual vocal approach, while White Butterflies boasted the band’s ability to write a crushing emo anthem. THE HURT PROCESS also penned some beautifully heartfelt songs including Tuesday and Clarity, but somehow managed to avoid being overtly cheesy and cringy…perhaps because they sounded so sincere? It will be interesting to see how these songs hold up live now! At the time Drive By Monologue was exactly what I wanted to hear, it satisfied my emo cravings but with an extra metallic crunch. Surprisingly, it’s aged quite well!

THE HURT PROCESS A Heartbeat Behind. Year: 2005.

After some line-up changes and a small shift in direction, next (and last) album A Heartbeat Behind ended up being more of a straight-up metalcore venture. This album dropped as I was getting into heavier stuff, so for me this album arrived at just the right time. Immediately with opening track Anchor, the heavier riffs and screams smacked you in the face and whacked you from being an emo darling into an angsty metalhead instead. Sometimes the impact got lost (You Don’t Get Gold For Second Place and The Night Before The Morning After) but this album featured more belters than before (see: the brilliant My Scandinavian Ride and Delicious 53). My two favourite THE HURT PROCESS tracks are on this album; the moving Boogie Nights In Michigan and the colossal Reading Into It. Both songs are unlike anything the band had done before. The former being confusingly uplifting with its bright riffs but sorrowful lyrics and the latter providing the dramatic cello-infused finale the album (and band) deserved. A Heartbeat Behind is a British metalcore underdog indeed.


Q&A with THE HURT PROCESS vocalist Daniel Lawrence

Q. How did the reunion happen?

Lawrence: We’ve been talking about meeting up for years, primarily to catch up with each other. Then the opportunity for some shows came about so we made it happen. It’s been great so far.

Q. How are rehearsals going after over a decade apart?

Lawrence: It’s been awesome and sounding just like the old days. Cannot wait to get it to the stage for everyone to see.

Q. Which songs are you most looking forward to playing live?

Lawrence: All of them! I can’t wait to get the pit moving in front of us again.

Q. What can THE HURT PROCESS fans expect from the live show?

Lawrence: If rehearsals are anything to go by, expect it to be heavy and poppy along with high energy.

Q. Can we expect new songs? If so, what style are they heading in?

Lawrence: There will be new songs. Style wise….you will have to wait and see! Come to the shows to find out.

Weekly Roundup #11

Turn it up to 11

Band to watch: KARMANJAKAH. With instant TESSERACT vibes, Color is the first song released by Swedish progressive metal band KARMANJAKAH (the name is a location in the Swedish children’s book The Brothers Lionheart). However, unlike most groups who aim to rip off the whole djent/Daniel Tompkins thing with little to no originality, KARMANJAKAH thankfully offer their own spin on things with their intelligent approach and the impressive vocals of Jonas Lundquist. Once the song absorbs you, you feel confident that the band can carve their own niche in an oversaturated scene, because as the song progresses, the sheer melodic power paves the way to the realisation that KARMANJAKAH do in fact have something new to bring to the table. Drumming up anticipation for their debut EP through this track alone, music fans are more than curious to hear what the remainder of the record will have in store when it is released 3rd December. If the blissful melodies and crushing riffs of Color are anything to go by then the EP may certainly be something very special.

 

Video to watch: THE KING IS BLIND. Made in collaboration with Kieran Wakeman of Divine Chaos Art, this video for East Anglia’s THE KING IS BLIND is a hellish yet a captivating visual accompaniment to the band’s bruising track Throne of Skulls. Echoes of films such as Eraserhead and Surrealist art house, hint at the disturbing and twisted content of the video. The jarring shots layer atop each other creating an unsettling array of images which make for intense viewing. The track itself is a lethal assault and will be available on the Speed Kills 7 compilation due 2nd December. If you’re after some unnerving artsy visuals and sounds then give Throne of Skulls a try.

 

In the stereo: ANIMALS AS LEADERS released fourth album, The Madness of Many earlier this month, and it’s safe to say, it is still on repeat ever since. A bit heavier and darker than 2014’s album The Joy of Motion, it is still unbelievable how ANIMALS AS LEADERS constantly up their own game and release masterpiece after masterpiece. The diversity of sounds on this album demonstrates how far the band push the boundaries of progressive music and composition itself, as far as utterly breaking free of limitations and creating the most mesmerising music which doesn’t seem possible by man. Stand out tracks being Arithmophobia, Backpfeifengesicht and The Brain Dance, each song has its own flare and signature motif, which is a departure from the songs on The Joy of Motion which seemed to melt into one another. ANIMALS AS LEADERS are already contemporary legends, how on earth are they going to top this?

 

Band to rediscover: THE HURT PROCESS. With all these emo/scremo/post-hardcore-o bands reforming and touring (i.e. SAOSIN, UNDEROATH etc) it got me thinking about similar bands I would like to hear again. This reintroduced me to THE HURT PROCESS, a melodic hardcore band from Tunbridge Wells, England, who proved that the British could play the genre just as well as their American counterparts. Releasing two albums, Drive By Monologue (2003) and A Heartbeat Behind (2005) the band were destined for big things especially after touring America on the Warped Tour in 2004. Then suddenly in 2006, the band disbanded, leaving a gaping hole in the British metalcore scene. A Heartbeat Behind is an album I often return to, due to its plentiful hooks, melodies, screams and dual vocals. It probably doesn’t sound like an original mix of components nowadays, but back in 2005 it was exciting that a home-grown ‘screamo’ band were rivalling the masters of the genre from the US. THE HURT PROCESS remain one of the most underrated underground heroes of our time.