Hell Fest 2001 ... a show I talk about quite often. I moshed for essentially every band over the course of three days; minus Thursday and a few others. I was actually the only one moshing for certain sets. Remembering Never was one that sticks out in my mind. Another two were If Hope Dies and Beyond Fall. They both played earlier in the day and were essentially local bands (Auburn is roughly 25 minutes from Syracuse).
Neither band had been around for a long time and if I remember correctly, this "split EP" was essentially both of their demos on one CD-R stuff into a folded piece of glossy computer paper. I think I may have paid $10 for it, but I can't recall. Either way, even if I did ... I am very glad I did so. The three If Hope Dies songs remain amongst my favorite metalcore tracks of the era. The epic mosh in Death Of A Salesman is rarely accomplished by even the most exalted of the genre. Beyond Fall isn't too shabby either.
If Hope Dies were actually a Vegan Straight Edge band at the time. I know they carried on with the gimmick for a while but honestly lost track of the band after the release of their full length on Iron Clad/Metal Blade Records. I remember their first full length being a huge leap in production value but, as expected with bigger production budgets, I never seem to like the re-recordings as much as the originals. Death Of A Salesman was recorded for the follow-up full length and never struck me as being as powerful as the version found on this split. It was that song specifically that got me really psyched on the band. I was really jamming the In Flames - Clayman album a lot at the time and this song essentially took it and made it moshable ... what more could I ask for in 2001?
Beyond Fall had a bit of a "meaner", more aggressive sound than If Hope Dies (who relied a bit on melody). I'm not sure if they were also from Auburn, but I know they were from upstate NY somewhere. They played the "other" kind of metalcore I was into at the time. Experimental and sloppy without making a lot of sense. Oh yeah, and without the slightest bit of listenability.
I actually think the general lack of attention to detail is what draws me to this split. As previously stated, the re-recorded, tightened-up versions of Death Of A Salesman and The Null Set by If Hope Dies never struck me as being quite so awesome; not to mention the fact that they skipped right over Chrysalis (the song with the horrid singing part) when choosing songs to re-recorded for the full length. There is a sense of genuineness on this split that is becoming a further distant memory as we speak due to digital recordings and the whole schpiel.
I'm not too sure if Beyond Fall ever went on to release anything after this split ... but if anyone has anything else by them, I would love to hear it. If they would have ever re-done that final track on the split, I bet it would be up there with 7 Angels 7 Plagues on the syncopated double-kick mosh awesomeness scale.
Path To Misery was actually lucky enough to play the If Hope Dies reunion when we both played in Auburn for the Shane Dirisio benefit back in March of 2009. They played Death Of A Salesman ... and yes, I moshed.