Review Summary: More of the same from TTEOTD, but lacking any memorable songs or replay value.
So, after the abhorrent review that I first posted for this album, I come here with my head hung, incredibly embarrassed. As I have written a few more reviews since, I know that I am improving with each review and I am going to atone for the absolute lack of partiality on this previous review.
Through the Eyes of the Dead have always been regarded in my heart as one of my first forays into aggressive music. The Scars of Ages and Annihilation of Expectation opened my eyes to the world of breakdowns, double bass, and lyrical embarassment. However, I know that TTEOTD have continually had trouble with a revolving door of musicians over their span of one EP, one split, and their now three full lengths. Malice as an album leaned more towards death metal than the metalcore present in Bloodlust, and Skepsis listens more like like a poorly remade Bloodlust.
Armed with a new vocalist, guitarist, and drummer, one would think that the sound on this album would be dramatically different, or at least marginally so. The most surprising aspect of this album is that the music really is no different than what TTEOTD has had to offer in the past. The new drummer is fairly creative as well as being incredibly fast, and new vocalist certainly has range. It is just a more of the same, which will be a disappointment to fans expecting progression from them. There are some standout tracks, such as The Manifest and the title track, but there are no new tricks which will warrant new fans or casual listeners of the genre.
Upon first listen, I must admit I was very impressed with the musicality of the album. The important thing to remember is that while the band is obviously full of talented musicians, the lack of writing memorable riffs affects the replay of this record a great deal. There are a few songs on here that even begin so similarly that I thought that my ipod had randomly gone on shuffle. Unlike some bands that rip off bigger and more influential bands than themselves, TTEOTD have seemed to rip off themselves a few times on the album. Many of these songs may translate well in a live setting, but it does seem like the band brought back more breakdowns because the fans were demanding it.
Even though I have been a long time TTEOTD fan, the dealbreaker for me on this record is the absolute horrible production quality; recording with Erik Rutan for the album Malice may have spoiled me, but the recording of Skepsis is thin and weak-sounding in comparison to their other works. The main issue with the album itself can be inferred from my personal experience with it: I listened to it one time through, loved like only a fanboy could, and then have not listened to it since this re-review. It is not even on my ipod anymore. Fans of the band, listen and enjoy, but beware of the lacking originality of this album.