Review Summary: Before Their Eyes blends melodic and metallic elements quite successfully. Along with bringing variety, consistency, and power to the table, the group does a lot of small things right their peers fail at, making their self titled an extremely enjoyable d4 of 4 thought this review was well written
It really is amazing how much the little things found on a record can make or break it. With todays largely populated musically world, listener’s can be pretty darn picky in choosing what they listen to. Sometimes as much as a cheesy token slow song or a mindless interlude which disrupts the flow of a record will make me want to forget about all but three songs on a record. But this is a bit detailed so let’s start with the basics shall we? Before Their Eyes labels themselves as a ‘Happy Hardcore’ band. The Ohio natives are signed to Rise Records and recently release their self titled debut record. Its blend of melodic and metallic elements might sound like the same old sound on paper; but when the power of their vocalist is unleashed, listener’s will know they are in for a treat. This along some immense songwriting, impressive musicianship and a large dose of variation make up an incredibly interesting and enjoyable debut which does a great deal of little things right.
Things start out in a wonderful fashion, as a beautiful clean introduction opens “City In A Snow Globe”
. The opener and the following track “The Nighttime Is Our Time”
are more so getting to know the band tracks. I say that in the sense that they are fairly straightforward in format and only give listeners a taste of what is to come. They both come complete powerful progressions and solid construction. “City In A Snow Globe”
puts a bit more emphasis on melody before whirling around into a ferocious breakdown while “The Nighttime Is Our Time”
features some timely harmonies, and enjoyable riffing; showing the group at the top of their game musically. A terrific vocal melody atop of it all really shows off the beautiful singing tone of their lead vocalist. While both harsh and sung vocals are present, there is certainly an emphasis and focus on the singing throughout most of the record. There is no sung chorus, screamed verse format to be followed here. The end result is much more unpredictable and unique as the group can do more with their songs.
Now here is the part where I would usually say that while the group could do more with their songs, they failed to. But then again, while this might seem like your run of the mill Christian whatevercore band, it is not. With some extremely solid songwriting, the band branches out and listeners rarely know what to expect next. “You Talk A Good Game”
has an odd and funky disco sound at the beginning, which throughout the rest of the song the group maintains. Things pick up as their slightly more poppy sound is shown. Regardless of the sound, the result is impressive and consistent. Heck even the falsetto’s during the chorus are effective. Despite the new sound, things are impressive and pleasing throughout the song. This is no one time flash on creativity though, as they have already mastered doing things here on their debut that their peers still can’t get right on their fourth albums. “This Is Redemption, This Is Our Lives Washed Clean”
is the token calm song with an build up that always ruins the flow of the record and usually ends up a boring and forgettable song. The difference here is Before Their Eyes makes the type of song work. Opening with a slow piano line, bass accents the opening half of the song as some fairly faint vocals build the typical atmosphere. The build up ends up beautiful as the title is sung and followed with lightly distorted guitars playing a mix of octave chords and melodic riffs over some well placed drum fills. They keep the length as short as it needed to be, showing awareness and succeeding in constructing a song many fail at.
To once again compare it to the typical clichés, since this is a Christian core band with both singing and screaming, the later half of the record will of course let up in terms of heaviness and definitely show an increasingly poppy sound as if to show commercial potential. Have you gotten the vibe that the band is just a little bit different then their peers and the clichés their genre is associated with? Before Their Eyes
has some of its heaviest tracks found on the second half. “The Journey Down South (Begins With a Two Step)”
definitely gets a southern rock vibe going with its main riff. Once more the group successfully performs a new sound for them music wise. However, the song does feel a bit odd during the chorus as the hook is all ‘whoa oh ohh’s and do dodo doo’s’. While definitely not a highlight, it works in a very odd sense. Regardless the song itself is a prime example of how the band can perform different sounds extremely well, as their mix of southern rock and mainly harsh vocal style are a nice match together. The closer “Close Your Eyes, It’s Okay To Rest Now”
features some more terrific screaming and has an incredibly powerful chorus. Dissonance shows its face for the first time here but instead of just using it for the breakdown, they incorporate it during the second verse. Once more just a little thing which strikes me as unique and that has a positive effect on the song. The end result is a bit of a tease early in the song so after a slight break and another chorus when the real breakdown is unleashed, the result is doubled what it would be normally. They keep it short and sweet, ending the record with a massive haymaker.
Bands these days seemed to have the basics dialed in. Before Their Eyes is no exception but this is not where they really shine. The extremely high points on this record are when they succeed where others fail. They make the seemingly cliché boring, slow, faux dramatic middle song work terrifically with solid construction and by keeping its length in a listenable range. The closing breakdown on their final song is intense for about twenty seconds. Just twenty seconds, not three minutes as once more the band shows awareness and doesn’t just throw out the same chug and dissonant chord over and over. These little things make the record enjoyable and listenable. Along with this the group has an untouchable amount of variety. They bring to the table so many different vibes and sounds with their tracks, yet all of them are consistent in quality due to the band putting their own hearts and souls into them. Just about the only compliant with the record is its short length. With ten tracks, one being an interlude the 30 minutes and 44 seconds this clocks in at leaves me wanting more. But at the end of the day one can only complain so much about the short length, as not a single second of filler is present. Before Their Eyes is a band that should certainly be on the rise (no pun intended) in the months and year to follow. Their self titled debut is incredibly pleasing and their strong songwriting, variety and attention to detail are not things I’d like to see overlooked.
City In A Snow Globe
The Nighttime Is Our Time
Why 6 is Afraid of 7
Close Your Eyes, It's Okay To Rest Now
Final Rating: 3.5/5