Released: 2005, The End Records
Reviewer: Gabriel C. Zolman
This wants to be Demolition Hammer really, really bad. Actually, they seem as though they’d like to be a great number of things. In the end, they fall into the nebulous vagaries of “Hybrid Metal,” “Post-Death,” and “Metalcore.” Fans of Watch Them Die, Burnt By The Sun, and other amorphous blobs of noise with sentence-length names, should like this just fine. It’s like Death Metal for kids who’ve never heard actual Death Metal.
For the record, the band does hit the mark at times: “Corpse You Up” and “Consequence Unknown” are excellent, by any genre’s standards, coming across like a low-rent It Dies Today. And the great thing about this band is, if you don’t like the direction the band is taking…wait a minute. They’ll change it for you, before you even ask!
I can’t say as I blame them for being so disjointed—to be honest, whenever the band makes a half-assed shake at being straight-forward, it sounds derivative. “Regret Your Fear,” while technically proficient, could have been recorded by any number of bands on the tour circuit last summer—none of whom with albums I would pay for.
Oh, did I mention that this features Tom Araya’s little brother, Johnny, on bass? No? Oh, it’s probably because I don’t give three shits. That happens; terribly sorry. Now where was I?
Ah yes, Thine Eyes Bleed…and my ears aren’t fairing too well, either.
“And Since Forgotten” and “Live To Die” have a bit of a Swedish thing going on—but it’s more of that Metalcore interpretation that Killswitch Engage and Unearth tool around at. This is to say that it sounds just fine, but it isn’t terribly genuine. Enjoy it for what it is, I suppose…
I can’t fault the musicianship—guitarists Jeff and Derek mean fucking business. They really deserve to be in a better band. Actually, the entire band is decent—Johnny really can play, and Darryl Stephens is no slouch behind the kit. Sadly, the production fails to capture the power of his drumming adequately; it is clearly no fault of his. The weakest link is definitely the vocalist; Justin Wolfe needs to be pistol-whipped by Kerry King for sounding like the generic raspy guy that every single MTV2 Metalcore church group seems to be employing. I really am convinced it’s all the same guy, anymore. I’m pretty sure he just sneaks into the studio, too—I can’t imagine anybody actually paying him for his quasi-burn victim yelps.
The End Records is a consistent label; maybe they see something here I don’t. This just isn’t a cohesive album to me; it’s an Ozzfest mish-mash of riffs from the Land of Misfit Toys, and it rarely comes together for longer than a song or two. It has the ferocity to be much more, but…
This band needs more time to grow. Until then, it is relegated to the netherworld fanbase of spikey-hair mall-punks and fat chicks with pierced lips, and a Good Charlotte lunchbox to rock them after recess.