Review Summary: Underoath has fans.
Let me begin by saying… This band is really good. I was quite impressed for a debut. The only stinking problem is that it sounds exactly
like Underoath. There are occasional bouts of separation, but then they still sound like someone else. I heard Thrice quite a few times throughout this album. They just never develop their own sound as the album progresses. Now that that is out in the open, let’s begin.
I really enjoyed this album. If it had been slightly more original, my rating would be higher. The best explanation I can give is that it is very “in your face.” This band does not hold anything back (which I really loved). As their bio on Solid State says, they like to be “in the moment.” The vocals sound incredibly passionate, and the guitars are super heavy. The lyrics are seemingly ambiguous throughout, and the synth breaks provide lots of diversity in the tempo and sound.
The clean vocals are actually the weakest part of this band from what I could tell. Although according to Solid State it says that Anthony Rivera does the vocals, it would appear that the guitarist actually does the singing (see their video for "Amend"). Rivera does the harsh vocals, and I think his screams greatly overshadow the cleans presented on this record. That isn’t to say the singing was poor by any stretch of the imagination. It is quite refreshing to listen to singing in this genre where there isn’t any blaring auto-tune present. But as far as this album was concerned, that seemed to be the weakest link.
The drums keep a very post-hardcore feel. There isn’t overuse of double bass or over exaggerated fills. Abishai Collingsworth very much stays within his limits, but without being boring and stale. He is a very solid drummer. I also cannot say enough about the guitarist, Darren King. The guitar work is one of the major strong points of this album. While they have 2 guitars in each song, he is the only active guitarist in the band. The bass also can actually be heard, and occasionally has its own parts (see “Dredge”). All in all, the album is very musically sound.
I highly recommend this album to any fan of Underoath and Vheissu
/The Artist in the Ambulance
-era Thrice. This album hits hard, and the screaming vocals are more than satisfactory. This is probably the best debut in this genre I have heard in quite some time, and I look forward to seeing this band grow and maybe stepping out with their own sound in the future.
Recommended tracks: Dredge, Amend, Estrange, Absolve