Review Summary: An enjoyable album that doesn't quite achieve it's potential.
3 of 3 thought this review was well written
My Bitter End are a five piece Deathcore band from Middletown, New York. They're been around for a little while now, and this is their second major release. Having not heard their debut, I had no idea what to expect when I gave this album it's first listen. Was it going to sound exactly like every other Deathcore band out there, or was I going to be surprised and discover another All Shall Perish? Well, the answer is simple: Both.
Just like every other Deathcore band out there, My Bitter End are, if nothing else, three simple things: Predictable, heavy and repetitive. As soon as the Intro track finishes, you're greeted by a minute long song that will sum the entire album up for you. It's crushing riff, 200 mph bass pedal drumming and frantic, yet melodic lead guitar are all signs of what's to come, and if you were to judge the album by these signs alone, you'd expect something amazing. However, the minute long track also displays the bands biggest flaws. Chief among those flaws is vocalist Tyler Guida, who's harsh, gutteral vocals are completely incomprehensible. I'd love to comment on the band's lyrics during this review, but it's impossible for me to do so as I cannot understand a word of them. Not at any point during the album did I catch one word. Even when Guida attempts clean vocals, or aggressive shouts, I just couldn't grasp what it was he was saying.
Songwriting is another major flaw of The Renovation. The progressions from riff to chorus to riff to breakdown to riff to chorus to outro are so predictable you feel as if you wrote the songs yourself. The few times the band venture out from this simple pattern, and attempt technical bridges or re-intros such as in Finding Level Ground, it sounds forced. It's almost as if the band realized just how repetitive they were only days before the release of the album, and quickly threw together some songs that sounded just a little bit different. They don't flow as well as the more typical songs on the album, which is a real shame. Timing is another aspect of songwriting that the band haven't quite mastered yet. They occasionally attempt to play in some odd time signature, but every time they do you notice. You literally hear every time signature change as it happens, which makes it feel very awkward in comparison to the rest of the song. Still, the band do get some things right. The breakdowns, for example, are fantastic. The album contains some of the best I've heard since All Shall Perish's Eradication. While they are repetitive, they achieve their goal of being brutal, catchy and insanely fun. The most notable breakdown on the album is found on Dirt Hamlet, which contains some great dissonant chords set in a furious start-stop pattern. It's fantastic.
One thing that impressed me about the album is its use of melody. Unlike most of their peers, My Bitter End are actually fairly melodic. Their riffs are much more reminiscent of At The Gates and early In Flames than they are of Cannibal Corpse or Napalm Death, which is certainly something refreshing for the deathcore genre. The band even go so far as to write occasional clean section for their songs, using them as intros or bridges. Whilst short, these sections are enjoyable, well written and offer a refreshing change from the blistering pace of the album. There's an entire track of soft, clean guitars and quiet drumming, which acts as a sort of intermission. It works nicely and just gives you a quick, 2 minute break from the carnage the album consistently forces down your throat. Even when The Renovation does assault your ears with it's crunchy, ferocious riffs there's often a clearly defined lead guitar layer above it providing a cool lick or two. It almost makes the forcefulness of the songs seem pleasant, and it's one of the main reasons the album isn't as boring as you might expect. Occasionally, the two guitarists will perform these fills and licks as harmonies, which sounds simply awesome. What they lack in originality, guitarists Todd Ranne and "Henkie" make up for in sheer talent.
Unfortunately, bassist Shawn Jennings can't quite keep up. He often pounds the root note of whatever scale or chord the guitars are harmonizing in, and the few times he does follow them it's almost impossible to notice. For 75% of the recording, Mr. Jennings may as well have not turned up, as the few parts he does play on are turned down so low you will rarely ever hear them. If only that were the case with drummer Mike Ranne, who's double kick bass pedal sounds more like a furious 1970's secretary on her new typewriter, typing in every last word her new boss says to the very letter. He is, without a shadow of a doubt, the single most annoying drummer since X Japan's Yoshiki, who I still haven't forgiven for ruining Blue Blood.
Overall, My Bitter End are a talented new band with a lot of potential. Sadly, a great deal of that wasn't put to use on The Renovation. Whilst it's an enjoyable listen with a few unique aspects, it still sounds just a little too much like everyone else for it to be anything special. It's just not quite good enough to be the classic I feel it could have been. That being said, I do recommend this to fans of the genre and in fact, I recommend it to those who have never taken the time to listen to the genre. It's slightly more accessible than it's peers and it is still very enjoyable, it's just brought down by a few flaws and annoyances.
I like these guys. I love them for being as melodic as they are. They aren't insanely different from the rest of the genre, but there music is different to an extent nonetheless. I sorta like there drummer too, i think he is creative. Overall good band. I think they just got back together too.
I love this album im a sucker melodicism and deathcore so its a win win situation for me.These guys are very talented, and as for Tylers vocals i actually really like them kind of reminds me of Anthony Gunnells from TTEOTD.The cd for this sticker is the best i've ever seen as it says its for fans of Misery Signals,Between the Buried and Me, and Through The Eyes Of The Dead, my 3 favorite bands.So yeah this album was in my top 5 of 07.
I just listened to this album all the way through again today. I'm loving it. It's not an album i can listen to constantly, but if i listen to it sparingly it will last for ages and continue to be good, or at least to my ears.
the song structure is like my favorite part of the album, from the most butally abstract and chaotic (suberbs breed showmen) to the catchy but still complicated (comfortable with corpses) to the utterly epic ( finding level ground, salvage the structure), this album has it all, idk i think this is one of my favorite deathcore albums, its so enjoyable to listen. its not the melodic deathmetal with breakdowns that is all shall persih, its not more brutal end of the genre like suicide silence, its not despised icon, its not mathy like ion dissonance, its not progressive like misery signals or btbam, its its own thing so yeah, bite me