Review Summary: Bottom Line: A fun, safe effort by new kids on the block Sever Your Ties. SITS is a great new mix of styles and shows that SYT have created their own unique sound, freshening up a genre that has become very boring in recent years.
Sever Your Ties, on the surface, appears to be another band playing the much maligned (and rightly so) Christian Hardcore/Post-Hardcore genre, which aside from existing as an essential oxymoron, is at the present time flooded with hordes of rather ordinary bands with little or nothing to offer. Fortunately, this debut full length is far from ordinary, and at least to this reviewer, is a breath of fresh air in a very, very stagnant genre.
Right from the get-go, the ferocious album opener, Voice Like A Nova jump-starts the album with an explosive romp. Vocalist Sean Marnul's anguished scream is fresh, unique and full of conviction, and powerful guitar and drum rhythms plow forward throughout the song. Simple, yet intelligent song-writing is evident, as Marnul alternates between a tortured scream and hefty clean singing.
Ensuing tracks, After the Storm and Hand in Hand display the same energy and passion, but with varied instrumentation that sound a bit like Demon Hunter. Synth sections playing over the guitar, which in turn swap quickly over into choppy semi-breakdowns give the songs solid differentiation from the opener. The band is capable of merging aspects of hardcore, metalcore and punk and combined with their vaguely philosophical vocals enable them to generate a fresh, fun new sound. Lead single Captive, is a spacey song with more clean singing that gives the best overall look into Marnul's actual singing. Although sounding a bit generic, his true clean singing is solid and Captive is an excellent song, argueably the best on the CD.
SITS instrumentation is also excellently done. Solid riffing and heavy, driving drum beats, coupled with a thick bassline do well to complement the wide range of vocals found on the album. Although nothing terrific or mind blowing, the well balanced, conservative guitar and drum work, do a little to help this bands cause, but the real item that seperates them from the rest of the pack is their extensive use of synth. For those readers who are familiar with Sky Eats Airplane, sections of some songs, especially To The Pacific have a very Nintendo-Esque synthline mixed in. If it sounds strange in writing, it comes across as nothing short of epic, sort of boosting the overall feel of the song.
This effort however, is not without its negatives, although they are few and far between. This Is What You Get is one of those songs in which a band just does not know when to stop, repeating the lyric with the song's title far too many times. Things Are Better Left Unsaid, is another not so hot song that finds the band venturing into pop-punk territory and comes off just plain corny, a lapse in song writing on the band's part.
Those flaws aside, Saftey in the Sea is without a doubt worth a listen to casual and serious fans alike. A fun, safe effort full of passion, conviction and attitude it is definately a few cuts above most of the trash that comes out of this genre. Although some tracks were not mentioned, among them Here I Am and closer Ashamed, they are excellent as well and are not to be skipped. A horrible rip off of Don't Fear The Reaper is the actual ending of the CD, but was not really worth talking about.
The Clear Best
Voice Like A Nova
The Clear Worst
Things Are Better Left Unsaid
That's What You Get