Review Summary: Although Texas In July have not managed to break out of their shell, they create something listenable this time around.
Many times, bands seem to get unbearably terrible with each album release. Texas In July are an exception to this. Their first EP “Salt Of The Earth” was almost completely unbearable with inaudible vocals and obvious August Burns Red worship. I Am became the saving grace for this band, releasing a full length that rose above the expectations of many people who had heard Salt Of The Earth, however it still did not stray from the August Burns Red sound, whom of which share the same town with Texas In July: Lancaster Pennsylvania. Texas In July, having more than two years of maturity under their belt since I Am have now released their second full length 'One Reality' which hits stores today.
After the introduction track, Texas In July begins with Magnolia. Magnolia shows a lot of improvement from previous album releases for the lead vocalist Alex Good who has really shown that he has taken the time to improve upon this problem over the years since Salt Of The Earth which had some of the worst, inaudible forced screams to ever appear on an album. Magnolia definitely shows improvement all around from the band, especially in its introduction's combination of chugging chords and melodic licks which sound great thanks to the crisp recording of Chris Harris.
Instrumentally, the album is heavy, what you'd expect from Texas In July. One thing about Texas In July that has always been impressive is their drummer, Adam Gray who has matured drastically this time around. 1000 Lies is a track that really shows his competency with tasteful fills, strong usage of the bass pedals, and blast beats that show he has a real command over his drum set. The guitarists show their worth throughout the album switching between heavy chugs and more melodic noodling during tracks like Cyclops and 1000 Lies that add a real assortment to what you can expect from this album. One expected problem though, is that the bass is nearly non-existent.
A few tracks stray away from the relentless heaviness of the album. No Greater Love starts off with a fast pace before slowing down midway to a Misery Signals like spoken word part before picking up its faster pace until the end of the song with Alex switching between speaking and screaming for specific parts. This song then leads into a relaxing acoustic interlude called May. These tracks add a real depth and variety to the album.
Unfortunately, Texas In July has the tendency to fall back to old habits of songwriting. Songs like Cyclops and Our Freedom sound eerily familiar to something that could have been released on August Burns Red's 'Constellations' which weighs down this album a lot. This specifically keeps the band from being on par with the heavy hitters of Metalcore. One Reality however, does the band a lot of justice showing that Texas In July have the ability to mature with each album release.