Review Summary: It's all nothing.
My Epic is not a band that pretends to be anything they are not. They don’t use vague metaphors to hint at what maybe their lyrics are trying to convey. They are men of conviction and religion. And they’re proud of it, as their 2009 debut proved. I Am Undone was a twelve track monster of an album that spanned over 58 minutes, while showcasing nearly impeccable instrumentation and religious lyrics throughout. After a sophomore album in 2010 and an acoustic ep in 2011, My Epic has returned with Behold
, another dense, personal album full of sailing melodies and down-tuned guitars.
is an album that can be summed up in one word. Dense. As to be expected, these 11 tracks are nearly an hour in running length, with a majority of the songs finding themselves hovering around the 5 minute mark. My Epic are masters of these prolonged track lengths, using every second of a song to craft something truly special. This time around nearly every song relies on the atmosphere that they create, as made obvious on the album opener “Arise”. The song acts as a microcosm of the album, as it starts of softly, carefully treading its ground as it builds and builds upon layers of keys, effects, guitars and vocals before climaxing and slowly fading away. Vocalist Aaron Stone has mastered the art of inflicting mood changes with the changing of his voice, with songs often taking the cue of the front man; as his melodies slowly brood, so too does the instruments behind him.
When listening to a My Epic record, listeners must exhibit patience. Songs twist and turn, at times flying high over listeners only to plummet at a moment’s notice, showcasing the minimalistic elements that make My Epic worthy of their namesake. This is all a testament to the song writing capabilities of this young band. Although at first listen songs may seem dull and stagnant, repeated listens reveal delightful quirks and hidden harmonies. Songs such “Zion” or the monster closer “Arrive” best exemplify this, the former quietly building for 5 minutes with minor variances before giving way to a truly beautiful final minute.
has a fairly simple concept; it is split up into two different parts. The first section consists of the intermixed tracks “Arise”, “Approach” and “Arrive”, which depict the story of God’s return to earth. These three tracks have similar melodies and faintly common structures, even if they vary greatly in length. The second part of the album is described by lyricists Aaron Stone as based on psalms from the bible. And here is where one of the only faults can be found in this record. At times this record seems more like a cd that could be played during a contemporary church service (the most egregious offender being the third track “Curse”). Although the lyrics rarely deviate from religious topics, this is nothing new to this band. The songs are sung with passion and desperate sense of urgency, making for a pleasant listen regardless.
welcomes back this group’s customary balance between progressive indie rock and post-hardcore while simultaneously introducing a more prevalent focus on the atmosphere that the songs create. While it may seem a daunting task, Behold
is a record that is at its best when listened to cover to cover; intricacies that would be missed otherwise shine with consecutive listens. With a return of two original members it seems My Epic has found the perfect balance between old and new, creating a worthy addition to an already critically acclaimed discography.