Review Summary: TTEOTD go from incredible to generic in a very unoriginal album.
Through the Eyes of the Dead is arguably one of the better death metal-influenced metalcore bands to hit the underground. I stumbled on their first full-length Bloodlust
by mere accident - I had taken a trip to my local Best Buy and my brother wound up buying the CD on a random impulse more than anything. Needless to say, the CD was a shocker. By the time I was finished I was pummeled so hard I had a headache. But we're not talking about that.
For me Malice
was one of my more anticipated releases this year, and needless to say, this band doesn't really show any change except for the vocals. Anthony Gunnells was definitely a highlight of the band, as his vocals spewed terror and fear. Yet, he parted ways with the band, and I couldn't possibly think that they could find a vocalist good enough to replace him – and they didn't. Nate Johnson is just like every average
death metal vocalist; he does one style, and that is grunt. That's pretty much all that you're going to hear. Well, there is a few shrieks, but nothing as dynamic as Anthony, and when he shrieks he does it so horrible it's almost laughable.
Even though the vocals aren't up to par, the other members do their thing rather well. The drums are pretty good, but they aren't superb - the drummer does his thing, even though some blast beats are occasionally in the wrong spot. The guitars are still ferocious and the riffs sound very complex. The solos (though rare) fit in well with the song (To The Ruins
). The bass, like the guitar, is still ferocious. Despite above average musicians, there's not much to distinguish tracks except for a breakdown or intro.
Even though everything feels generic, there are still high points to this album. The first track Failure in the Flesh
features an amazing opening guitar backed by a blast beat, and then the vocals kick in and you almost feel it could still be monstrous, yet the rest of the album fails to live up to expectation. As Good As Dead
opens up with some catchy guitar work and some more intense drumming, but cuts back to more generic-sounding death metal.. To The Ruins
attempts to break up the monotony with a slick guitar solo and a dominating breakdown, yet the rest of the song still sounds so monotonous. Pull the Trigger
is really the only track that sounds unique from the bunch. Nate actually grunts less than he shrieks as far as I could tell, or is it just the fact that his grunts got annoying after awhile? (though the shrieks aren't exactly that good). The drumming is tighter and better than the rest of the tracks, and the opening riff sets the mood for a good song. Yet none of the songs are really stand-out exceptional.
The instruments still have the TTEOTD feel.
Tight drumming and great riffs
Extremely monotonous, no real stand-out tracks
Pull The Trigger
Dead End Roads
Failure in the Flesh