Review Summary: I Am Terrified is a Christian group that, "surprisingly", blends elements of metalcore and post hardcore. Basically, they take everything that their contemporaries do well, and attempt to put them together with mixed results...very mixed results.
There are some things in this world that should never be mixed. Contemporary Christian music is usually pretty bland, but there are a few enjoyable artists out there. Christian metal/metalcore is also usually pretty bland an uninspired, but as a whole there are some pretty enjoyable acts in the mix. So how does I Am Terrified attempt to set themselves apart? In short, they attempt to do this by combining elements of both previously mentioned genres, which, surprisingly, ends up working out...sometimes.
The band itself is solid enough. The guitarists are decent enough, but the riffs are samey, the breakdowns are boring, the leads are underwhelming, and the "solo" attempts are almost laughable. Even so, there is an undeniable catchiness factor in a few of the songs, but the blandness does make itself more and more noticeable after repeated listens. The drums are probably the most technically sound part of the band, and the fills are abundant and fast. The bass, surprisingly, is audible for almost the whole album, though sadly it only follows whatever the guitar is doing.
And this is the point where it gets interesting. Riffs, breakdowns, leads, where do the contemporary Christian aspects come in? That question is best answered by the opening verse of Velvet Thunder. This is a test for all who seek to have the freedom of speech forever, Consequently I am here to speak to you with the truth and love from our Father
. Now don't get me wrong, I don't have any problems with Christian lyrics at all, but all of the lyrics here are so simplistic and blunt, it almost seems as though the lyricist wasn't even trying to write decently. Even lines without a Christian slant to them just come off so plain and dull.
However, there are two sides to the lyrical coin, the other side being vocals. The vocalist is probably the most interesting aspect of the band. The vocals range from low and brooding, to mid pitched, to high and a bit whiny, to falsetto, to shrieky screams, throaty metalcore shouts, and the typical roar of the word "OH!" at the onset of a breakdown. Even though this one man can accomplish all these things, it brings to mind the phrase "just because you can, doesn't mean you should." The higher pitched vocals are very reminiscent of Craig Owens of Chiodos, and the throaty shouts come off as if he is trying to imitate Spencer Chamberlain, so it seems, for the most part, that the vocalist doesn't really have a voice of his own.
The songs themselves really have very little variety, and there are two possible reasons for this. The first is that this is simply a short EP with six songs, so maybe the band is just saving the more varied stuff for the full length. Of course, this could also be attributed to the fact that the band just really has no songwriting ability and relies way to much on ripping off their contemporaries. Songs like Falling On Everlasting and The Parting both start off with pretty typical metalcore riffs, followed by the predictable softer verses and melodic choruses. Basically, they just scream mediocrity in every sense of the word. There are softer songs on display here, seemingly to attempt to break the monotony, but they suffer from the same things the other two previously mentioned songs do...they are just so overwhelmingly AVERAGE
. The band just does absolutely nothing to try and set themselves apart from the endless sea of mediocre bands, and the sad part is, they actually rip off said mediocre bands.
If you're still with me at this point in the review, you will happy to know that there is a redeeming factor here. Heaven Knocking, Hell Rising, really isn't much better than the rest of the material here, but there's just something about the song that makes me want to enjoy it. Its just so dang happy and catchy, and the instrumental aspects are also pretty well put together. However, one decent song does not a good album make, so my advice to you is this...If you feel the need to check this out, just download Heaven Knocking...and if you like it, just hold off from further listening until a full length is released.
-Vocals and drums are decent enough
-Heaven Knocking, Hell Rising is just so dang fun
-Average guitar parts, sub par basslines, you'll swear you've heard most of the riffs before, mostly boring and stale songwriting, pretty much anything else you could think of
-Also, if overly Christian lyrics bother you, just stay far away
-Seriously its one step above reading a hymnal