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  Suffering the Loss
Artist: Figure Four 
Label: Solidstate Records
Time: 12 tracks/33:32 min.

New to Solidstate's growing and reputed roster of road warriors is Figure Four.  Proving that good things do indeed come out of Canada, this is a band that is going places.  After putting out two full-length CDs on the indie labels Victory and Fasedown, they opted to sign with their current Seattle-based record company.  Also a big improvement is the addition of a female member to the lineup.  Dubbed "Metal Mel," she is an incredible guitarist and a phenomenal addition to an already prolific group of musicians.  Musically and production-wise, this effort compared to others has greatly improved in the transition to Solidstate.  Lyrically it's very good as well, but message-wise I've seen them do better.  Track #12 is the best on the CD in that regard.

Their first full length for Solidstate is very suggestive of legendary hardcore acts (and former label-mates) Point of Recognition and No Innocent Victim.  Now that they're both gone, it's good to see someone filling the void left by their absence.  It's good to see the heaviness isn't leaving at Solidstate, either.  With the recent loss of legends like Zao and Living Sacrifice and the flood of more melodic bands like Embodiment, Dead Poetic, and Beloved, emo-screamo seemed to be taking over the roster by default.  A fresh dose of pure, raw hardcore like this is a breath of fresh air.

The Solidstate/Tooth-and-Nail family has always given us innovators in the area of Christian/positive heavy music of all kinds, and they continue to do so with Figure Four.  The sheer noise level of Suffering the Loss is nearly enough to leave one hoarse and deaf just by listening to it.  The vocal style makes you, the listener, wonder if they don't cough up blood after their shows; it's that intense.  Clearly, this is no music for the faint of heart.  Veterans alongside the likes of Hatebreed, Beloved, and Sick of It All, they have a well-earned reputation to protect.  Whether you love, like, or simply put up with the particular brand of organized noise commonly referred to as hardcore music, Figure Four deserves your respect and (if you're a hardcore fan) a place in your CD collection.  However, if you plan to see them live and still be able to hear, I strongly recommend earplugs!

Ryan Little  7/29/2003


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