Review Summary: An outstanding first release from a band with a lot of potential.
It's not easy to find bands that show the potential to be great in this genre. Many Metalcore acts seem to be content with churning out records that are by every definition of the word, generic. There are only a couple of bands that come to mind when I want to listen to something that's actually standout and impressive, and one of those bands is Feed Her To The Sharks.
Let me start by saying that this album does not break down any barriers, it does not do anything new, and it isn't anywhere near perfect. The reason I like this album so much is the fact that the members of this band all show potential, and lots of it. They follow fairly typical Metalcore song structures, but for the most part they do it right.
The highlight of this band is and probably always will be, their primary vocalist. He's a monster, I can't say it any better than that. His range is good and he utilizes both of his styles of choice very well throughout the course of the album. He enunciates well in both ranges, which is something to be admired.
I wish I could give just as much praise to their clean vocalist, I really do. But I can't, because he's awful. This is the reason I had to say they do things right FOR THE MOST PART. I don't have a thing against clean vocalists in Metalcore bands, in fact I like them a lot if they do things right. The problem here is that this guy is the epitome of a low quality generic Metalcore singer. Every time you've heard someone mock Metalcore cleans for being too whiny and weak and out of place, they might has well have been talking about this exact person. I could forgive some of of his lack of power if he was actually good at singing, but he isn't. His pitch is awful, the way he pronounces each word makes me cringe, it's just flat out unpleasant to listen to.
Breakdowns... they can be fun, they can be well placed and well done. They can also be placed randomly, be terrible, and give a genre a bad name. I'm happy to report that the breakdowns on this album are well placed and well done. They aren't amazing or anything, but they're fun to listen to, and they don't just randomly show up. There's lots of good build ups to the breakdowns and when they hit they pack a punch. Speaking of build ups, there are several great moments on this album where the credit has to be given to a good build up. The production is outstanding, which is actually surprising to me. I don't thing many people are aware of this band (yet) and I typically expect lower production quality from a first release. This is not the case here Everything sounds great. Nothing, except the bass of course, gets lost in the mix. It's all very clear and very high quality.
The guitarists are both good players. Thankfully this album isn't overloaded with chugga-chugga guitar-work, each song has it's own melody and they sound pretty damn good. And when they ease back on the melody and just go for that heavy sound it's actually timed and placed nicely to give the power that the section needs. "Misery" features a short but very solid guitar solo. The lead guitarist shows that he has the potential to write good leads and melodies, and I hope to see him keep improving in that area in the future, because the playing here is good, but not quite great. More solos on future releases would be very much appreciated.
The drumming here is good, if not a little too cautious. I really like some of his double-bass placement, he doesn't go overboard with it and sometimes uses it when that's exactly what a section needs to be great. This all all fine and dandy... But where's that creativity, man?! I can't think of one single moment where I thought "whoa, that was a nice fill." His beats work fine and get the job done, but he never really tries anything interesting with them. I hope in the future he tries a little more creative playing.
All in all, this album is really solid. For a first release, it's impressive. There's a ton of potential here and if these guys really put in an effort to stay away from the pitfalls of the genre and continue to work on what they've already shown they're good at, they could really be something to look out for later down the line.