Review Summary: "Shoot me fucking dead, I'll let my eyes roll back into my head, wishing I was dead, wishing I was dead."
Rumbling. Guitar plugs in. Here we go. Vocals. Fade out.
I don’t want this review to be a constant disparagement to Sworn In just because of the genre. This is a metalcore album; it meets the criteria in every sense of the “m word.” But that’s what I don’t understand: Why do people discredit an album or band just because of a genre? I understand that some metalcore bands are - eh - pretty bad to say the least, but to write off an entire genre because of a few years worth of bad releases seems pretty inane.
The band claims that this is a concept album, but the loathing seems to be the only constant theme. And believe me, this band is pissed, or at least I like to believe so. I think that’s what makes this album keep drawing me back. If you do truly believe that they are pissed, it suddenly becomes extremely passionate.
As for the instrumentals... there has been a huge improvement. This album is not a breakdown. There are probably more than enough to go around, but it’s not as bad as their previous efforts. This album “brings teh junz”, but it adds to the overall heaviness. In a sense, I like to listen to this album for the same reason that I like to listen to Iowa by Slipknot. No technical aspects whatsoever, but the musicianship is great, the passion is there, and let’s face it, everyone likes to get irate once in awhile.
This album is held back, however, by the one thing that sets it apart. Tyler Dennen’s lyrical ability is somewhat lacking. All the songs are extremely specific about their loathing, but they’re delivered with the poise of a shotgun: He doesn’t vary his subjective delivery of them; there’s no metaphor whatsoever.
Also, the interludes and songs under two minutes are highly unnecessary.
The biggest improvement is still Dennen’s vocal style. He has mostly ditched his fry style vocals in favor of false chords, giving a more aggressive sound. There is more overall vocal range (rather than just an irritating mid-range).
This album is definitely a major improvement, and if these young musicians vary their musical style, I believe they could be on their way to being one of the few critically respected bands in today’s scene.