Hold On Pain Ends is the fourth full-length album by increasingly popular post-hardcore outfit The Color Morale. Vocalist Garret Rapp and company have created a unique and exciting bond with fans through their consistent message of hope, and the band has structured their mission statement solely around that message. The lyrical content follows suit, inspiring from beginning to end, offering powerful pieces of wisdom for fans to cling to. “Suicide;stigma” offers one of the most moving lines on the album as guest vocalist Dave Stephens of We Came As Romans screams, “Suicide doesn’t end the pain / it passes to the ones you love and remains / Take yourself out of the equation and the problem stays.” Another lyrical highlight is the catchy chorus of “Between You and Eye,” which speaks to the epidemic of low self-esteem in today’s youth culture as Rapp sings, “No one’s ever going to believe in yourself for you.”
While Hold On Pain Ends provides an effective dose of hope for its listeners, it is musically ineffective. While a few moments provide hopeful flashbacks to the days of We All Have Demons, the chord progressions are simple throughout and the songs all sound fairly similar. The screams are low-quality and the guitar work is average. The opening track, “Damnaged,” features some especially strange screams.
“Lifeline (Left to Write)” features the album’s most exciting breakdown, incorporating a clever use of triplets. Rapp’s strength lies in his clean singing, which is showcased by the acoustic title track that ends the album, followed up by gang vocals from a group of actual The Color Morale fans, building the already-strong connection between the band and its faithful.
Hold On Pain Ends is a solid release — especially lyrically — but its musical mediocrity leaves listeners longing for a return to the sounds of TCM albums past.