It Dies Today – The Caitiff Choir

Reviewed: February 2005
Released: 2004, Trustkill Records
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Gabriel C. Zolman

First of all, can you truly ever go wrong with an album that has song titles like “Severed Ties Yield Severed Heads”? I think not.
No strangers to the scene, It Dies Today have a strong debut behind them (2002’s Forever Scorned), and a fresh line-up change to contend with. To wit, they have contended adequately.
Vocally, this smacks of Bleeding Through, although strains of Shadows Fall’s stop-and-go melodicism peek their head in to say “Aarrrggh” now and again. Guitar-wise, it’s all over the place””one moment it’s the razor-sharp stop-start of Bury Your Dead, and all the catchy break-downs that implies; another it’s more traditionally metallic, with actual solos (gasp!) and Priest riffs built and buried into its pummeling effect.
Tracks like “The Depravity Waltz” and the previously mentioned “Severed Heads” slam and chug with alternating metallic thud and furor; meanwhile, sing-a-long songs like “The Radiance” and “Marigold” could almost come from Atreyu””and could easily find radio play, while still remaining “metal enough” for the casual banger of heads.
Indeed, this could be the Next Big Thing””it’s already better than Unearth or Dead To Fall, and look how well these bands have done of late.
If there is anything to pick at, it is the band’s acute schizophrenia. One minute, they’re cruising along with phasers set on “thrash,” and the next moment, they’re wading through some complicated Metalcore moment…and then come the melodies again. This has all been done to death, and the corpse will be fucked once more with passion on this disc.
“A Threnody For Modern Romance” remains a highlight””it represents the band at its most balanced, when the Thrasher, the Metalcore stomper, and the Screamo kid find equilibrium in their hostile, troubled world. It almost brings to mind newer In Flames or older Killswitch Engage (back when they worshipped In Flames). It also features a great shout-out chorus from out of nowhere toward the end. It must also be said that “Freak Gasoline Fight Accident” well captures the New School Of Bands Who Think They’re Swedish very nicely. Darkest Hour would be proud, and As I Lay Dying would be frightened, and whimpering in the corner.
The album’s weakest moments are when they strive to out-do their peers at their own game, as opposed to simply playing by their own rules””which is precisely what made the debut so special. This is either a milestone or a cliché, based upon one’s point of view. There is room for improvement, but it’s really more a closet, wherein the next move is found within, and not without. Ultimately, this is the ultimate for its sub-subgenre””it’s fierce, and vitriolic, and perhaps more Hardcore in attitude than in sound. This could be a “major label” release, if not a major release of some sort either way. It worth obtaining to the Children Of The Pit, and their boot-scarred flock””and not a half-bad starting point for those waiting to jump in anew.


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Track Listing:
1. My Promise
2. Severed Ties Yield Severed Heads
3. The Radiance
4. The Depravity Waltz
5. A Threnody For Modern Romance
6. Marigold
7. Freak Gasoline Fight Accident
8. The Caitiff Choir: Revelations
9. Our Disintegration
10. Naenia
11. The Caitiff Choir: Defeatism

Lineup:
Nicholas Brooks – Vocals
Christopher Cappelli – Guitar
Mike Hatalak – Guitar
Steve Lemke – Bass
Nick Mirusso – Drums

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