DIE HOFFNUNG: Elegies and Creation Songs: LP

Recorded but unreleased following the suicide of band member Travis Fristoe in 2015, Elegies and Creation Songs, Die Hoffnung’s second album, is finally seeing the light of day. Nuanced, emotive, yearning, raw, furious, intricate, it’s an album masterfully aware of the loud/quiet dynamics of screamo, a genre that Fristoe and brothers Jon and Jim Marburger had plenty of experience in, given their previous bands. Incredible lyrics and beautifully packaged with white vinyl in a silkscreened chipboard cover, it includes an accompanying CD by bandmate Jim Marburger, Songs for Travis, which tackles—presumably—issues surrounding Fristoe’s death, and proves to be as haunting and powerful as Elegies, albeit done in a totally different style. In many ways, I feel pretty ill-equipped to review something that is so clearly a labor of love for all those involved, but I will say that everything here is beautifully rendered and manages to be both fierce as shit and resolutely haunting. Regardless of the issues surrounding its release, Elegies is a striking, memorable piece of music. –Keith Rosson (Belladonna)