Review Summary: Uncommon technical skill and extreme brutality marred by horrendous production and a painful lack of songwriting ability.
Being the sheltered Christian kid that I am, like many others of my kind, secular music was outlawed in my household for a good amount of time. When I got into metal, this presented a problem, seeing as how all the heaviest and most talented bands were decidedly non-religious. This sent me into a long iTunes/Youtube searching spree, in which I attempted to discover Christian metal bands that didn't totally suck. On one of my iTunes searches, I discovered a 3-song demo by a technical deathcore band called I Built the Cross. This was some of the heaviest stuff I'd ever heard, but the best part was that they were Christian! This is something that my parents could not
It's been few years since then, and in this time I saw the release of the band's debut album, Bridging the Gap Between Heart and Mind
. Of course, remembering how insanely heavy their demo was, I promptly purchased this album. At very first listen, I'll admit that I managed to convince (delude) myself into liking it. The brutality was there, as was the insane technical skill. But, when I went back to the record about a week ago, I realized the simple truth: That this album is one of the most unlistenable things in the world. First and foremost, there's the production. This was a problem in the demo as well, but I wrote it off then seeing as it was just that: a demo. They would surely improve on their first album. Sadly, I was mistaken. This comes close the level of the most uber-kvlt necro black metal that you've ever heard. It's almost impossible to distinguish one band member from the next. I mean, I'm sure I would just love
the vocals if I could distinguish them from drums and guitars (notice how I didn't mention bass there? I honestly don't think they even have a bassist, he's so quiet).
The second major problem here is the songwriting. Believe it or not, there is none
. You hear people argue about how boring and repetitive deathcore records tend to be, but those people haven't heard this album. If they had
heard this album, there would have been no argument in the first place. I honestly cannot distinguish one wankfest of a song on here from the next. I challenge you to pick this up and listen to it in one sitting. You will not be able to. Imagine the feeling you get when you try and listen to a Meshuggah album, except without the strange addictiveness that comes with their records. That's what to expect from this record.
As stated before, these guys do
have potential. They're obviously some of the best musicians in the Christian metal scene, and their brutality is not matched by many. But no matter how many sweep-packed solos and drop-Z breakdowns they put into this, nothing will save it from being a terribly produced, repetitive chugfest of an album. Here's to hoping that these guys build off the obvious potential that they display on this record. They can easily be the Christian version of The Red Chord, but they still have a long
way to go.