Shelter – The Purpose, the Passion

The Purpose, the Passion

Rumors of Shelter’s demise apparently are not true. Reportedly, Shelter’s last album, When 20 Summers Pass, was supposed to be their last. Apparently Ray Cappo found the gumption to muster up another album. Overall, it is a slight disappointment in terms of content, but musically it is as solid and catchy as ever.

The Purpose, the Passion picks up where their last release left off. Gone are the Krishna chants and eastern philosophies of Attaining the Supreme and Quest for Certainty, which is sort of disappointing. At the same time, this album, like 20 Summers, is a step up from their career low Beyond Planet Earth, in which they took a huge leap for possible mainstream success. Luckily, that album did not catch on, and they went back to a more traditional sound.

The sound is catchy with a mix of old school hardcore and pop. Cappo’s voice sounds as strong as ever, and the production, by Damnation ad’s Ken Olden, is crisp and tight. The music is a perfect summer listen. The type of album where you want to play it loud, roll down the windows, and take a road trip somewhere.

Some of the stand out tracks are “True North,” “We Can Make it Through,” “Working Miracles,” and the title track. “True North” starts the album off on a very melodic note with the typical catchiness that Shelter is known for. “The Greatest Use” begins with an 80s pop type intro and bursts into a frenzied old school tempo. “The Value of Sitting With Myself” may remind the listener of some of their past mid-tempo numbers off of Mantra or 20 Summers. “We Can Make it Through” blasts through the speakers with its positive lyrics and ultra-catchy vocals. “Working Miracles” is nearly a throw back to Cappo’s Youth of Today days, a bit more melodic, but the verses are rapid paced and ferocious. “Inner Garden” is a strange track and sounds like it could be played on an alternative rock radio station. “If it Ever Heals At All” closes the album off with a rocking riffs and a catchy, sing-a-long chorus.

Shelter is one of the more important bands in the history of hardcore. Not only because of the presence of Youth of Today’s Ray Cappo, but also because the band has been about something. This new album is a little different in that the message has taken a backseat to the music. One can’t help but like the mix of Cappo and old school/melodic type songs. At the same time, the importance of Shelter seems to have been diminished with the lyrics having become slightly more vague. Could this be the reason why Porcell has quietly disappeared from the band? Only Krishna knows.