Eyes Set To Kill
The World Outside


3.0
good

Review

by Trey Spencer STAFF
May 31st, 2009 | 75 replies


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Eyes Set to Kill still have some growing to do, but this album is proof that they're up to the challenge.

When a band has the kind of success that Eyes Set to Kill did with their major label debut, Reach, it often means that their follow-up is going to contain more of the same. Fortunately, there are those bands that consider themselves actual artists and aren’t content to simply churn out variations of the original hit and Eyes Set to Kill is apparently one of them. According to the band’s website the goal on this album was to have critics, fans and the industry recognize Alexia Rodriguez’s growth and maturity as a songwriter and performing artist. Recognizing the band’s growth from their beginnings to this album is easily done and if that was their goal than mission accomplished. The World Outside has improved on every facet of the band’s sound and is almost certain to be looked back on as the album that foreshadowed better things to come.

On the most basic level, Eyes Set to Kill can be described as a post-hardcore or screamo band that utilize pop-sensibilities in order to create a sound that is as catchy as it is edgy. They also include an additional dynamic by using both male and female vocalists, but other than that minor difference their debut was just another enjoyable album full of pop hooks contrasted with a post-hardcore edge. As enjoyable as that album was, it wasn’t without its problems. The problem that Reach presented was that the enjoyable aspects were diluted by terrible screaming, a hollow production and some awkward songwriting. The World Outside fixes the last two issues and makes a noticeable improvement on the first one. The band wasn’t just content on fixing notable problems though; they also improved as musicians and injected a metallic edge that lends their songs a darker feel and a stronger sense of urgency.

In the past, one of the biggest problems with Eyes Set to Kill was the terrible screaming of Brandon Anderson. His screams were weak and high pitched in an annoyingly nasal way. They also lacked the required intelligibility that a band like this would require; instead delivering lyrics as a string of garbled syllables. Opening song, “Heights” proves two things within the first 30 seconds of its play time – one, that the production on this album is noticeably fuller and two that the screams have improved remarkably. They’re deeper, more powerful and there’s more separation between individual words allowing the lyrics to be more effective. The screams are still not entirely perfect but they don’t ruin songs like they used to. The band have also incorporated more clean male vocals which, while not perfect either, help to soften any potential negatives brought about by the screams. In all honesty though, the songwriting has improved so much that even if the screams had not improved they probably still wouldn’t have been able to ruin the album.

The band has evolved past the quirky gracelessness that caused Reach to occasionally feel a little unrefined or weak, and have presented an album full of well-built songs. The songs sound noticeably more complete due to the band focusing on whole compositions instead of emphasis being placed on a catchy chorus. This allows the entire album to be memorable with the choruses being slightly more so, but without any overt allusion to pop designs. The band’s integration of a metallic undercurrent into the riffs also helps to dull any blatant pop references and assists in providing a thick base for the rest of the instruments. Within the band’s more metallic direction, they’ve also continued to incorporate occasional, yet effective, piano parts to songs such as the title track and “Come Home” where they take the lead role. This helps to add extra emotional weight to the songs when Alexia’s lyrics call for it.

As chief lyricist and songwriter, Alexia Rodriguez deserves a large part of the credit for the way this album turned out. Not only has she improved the band’s music, but she has also exposed herself lyrically. Her lyrics have become more personal than ever before, dealing with such issues as her abandonment by her father as well as personal insecurities that have followed her through life. In all honesty, the main draw to this band is going to be Alexia’s vocals, which are catchy at all times yet can also be emotionally engaging. The improved songwriting and focus on complete compositions has also allowed her vocals to integrate much more effectively with the heavier sections which removes a lot of the awkwardness displayed on the last album. All together, the improvements and progression made in the 16 months between albums is surprising and shows the amount of work that she and the band has put into this album.

Apparently, it was Alexia’s belief that true artists always evolve and that simply rehashing Reach was out of the question. Instead, she made improvements in key areas and added a few new elements that served to enhance the band’s sound, and surprisingly everything worked. The metal-influenced riffs bring about a fuller, heavier experience that better compliments both Brandon’s screaming and Alexia’s singing and their focus on songs over choruses has allowed all of the compositions to sound fuller and much more developed. Alexia’s dedication to the progression of the band has lead to the strongest release of their career and should help her achieve the goal of proving to everyone that she has grown as a songwriter and artist. Of course, there is still room to further improve in all areas (mainly the screaming), but this album will definitely serve as a highly enjoyable step towards even better things to come.



Recent reviews by this author
Sick of It All The Last Act of DefianceMeshuggah I (Special Edition)
Cannibal Corpse A Skeletal DomainRabbit Junk Pop That Pretty Thirty
Anathema Distant SatellitesFlotsam and Jetsam No Place for Disgrace - 2014
user ratings (114)
Chart.
2.9
good
other reviews of this album
The Green Scarf Bandit of Italy (4)
Eyes Set to Kill have achieveved "darker"...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Willie
Moderator
June 1st 2009


16051 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Before anyone checks my ratings and points out that I have this and their last one rated at 3.5 yet I go on about how this is better... Reach is actually about a 3.2 and this one is about a 3.8

Gyromania
June 1st 2009


15941 Comments


dude, you have this and their last one rated a 3.5...wtf? lol, totally kidding, a great review though, maybe i'll dl this.

Digging: Lantlos - .neon

brainsheldis
June 1st 2009


320 Comments


Band is kinda lame and annoying imo but oh well.

Athom
Staff Reviewer
June 1st 2009


17222 Comments



In the past, one of the biggest problems with Eyes Set to Kill was the terrible screaming of Brandon Anderson

this. good to see he's improved.

Mordecai.
June 1st 2009


8279 Comments


yeah i'm totally checking this out cause of the review. Sounds like Paramore meets Funeral for a Friend.

Altmer
June 1st 2009


5652 Comments


Fuckit now I actually have to listen to the promo.

shortone323
June 1st 2009


883 Comments


Great review. I didnt mind the screaming that much on the last album but its nice to know that its improved. Are there any darling-esque songs on the album that can really hook you in? I need to listen to this but not sure where to start.

Zip
June 1st 2009


5312 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Basically everything I said, just phrased in a much better way. How did you staffers get so good?

Altmer
June 1st 2009


5652 Comments


Practice.

Zip
June 1st 2009


5312 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Maybe if I get better I'll go contributor next year.

BallsToTheWall
June 1st 2009


44644 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Single blows. I'm glad this will improve on that.

Digging: Mare Cognitum - Phobos Monolith

Willie
Moderator
June 1st 2009


16051 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Are there any darling-esque songs on the album that can really hook you in? I need to listen to this but not sure where to start.
Yeah, "The World Outside", "Her Eyes Hold the Apocalypse" and "Come Home"
Basically everything I said, just phrased in a much better way.
Yeah, basically. I kept my word and didn't post this until yours had been knocked off of the front page.

Zip
June 1st 2009


5312 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks for that btw, got some really good feedback and a solid basis for my 100 percent approval.

BallsToTheWall
June 1st 2009


44644 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I'll be a dick and say i'm not impressed with this album at all. I've been jamming to this for a couple days albeit sparingly but the vocal patterns are definitely boring, the clean male vocals suck, and doesn't posess the catchieness of the alst album. I havent found a track as catchy as Reach, Liar In The Glass, Only Holding On, or those two ballads.

Zip
June 1st 2009


5312 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

We are alone Willie. They all hate it.

Willie
Moderator
June 1st 2009


16051 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Yeah, I tried to make it clear that catchy choruses and pop-influences aren't the two main factors on this album. It's actually kind of a grower.

We are alone Willie. They all hate it.
Balls is very passionate about his music and it makes him very reactionary. If he gives it time he'll come around. Anyway, you have to expect this band to get some hate here, it's on the required hazing list for sputnik elitists.

Zip
June 1st 2009


5312 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Unfortunately, this is already getting a negative reputation and people aren't going into it with an open mind. They already expect it to be bad and they don't give it a chance to grow.

BallsToTheWall
June 1st 2009


44644 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

It's sputnik its nopt suprising. However it is refreshing to hear the frontlady riffing like hell. Is she rythmn guitar or elad?

Zip
June 1st 2009


5312 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I think its more of a trade off situation.

marksellsuswallets
June 1st 2009


4848 Comments


The single is so boring I don't know if I want to check out the whole thing...



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy