Review Summary: Dull and lifeless, but at least this has one or two redeeming features
Like Moths To Flames are yet another case of a band that is content to do absolutely nothing new with their genre, nor make any progression from their debut. Whilst their first album was flawed, it was at least an enjoyable piece with an extremely angry vocal performance and a few tracks such as You Won't Be Missed. It seemed that from there, the band decided to take anything good and praise-worthy from their effort and make the most mundane and lifeless follow-up in recent years. This is not a bad album, but it is certainly nothing to sing and dance about.
An Eye for An Eye is their 2013 sophomore album and essentially follows the same formula of When We Don't Exist. This means that there are an influx of breakdowns throughout many of the songs, a whole lot of open strings guitar riffs and a split between very angry growls/screams and clean songs, each of which spitting out immature venom in the lyrics. You've already heard it before if you've heard bands such as Trivium, early Bullet For My Valentine and early Demon Hunter and you know the drill. Whilst their debut did exactly the same thing, at least that particular album had soul, whereas here much of that is missing. The music is still angry sounding, but it feels too forced and even more watered down than before, whilst the lyrics have just gotten even more juvenile as time has passed. The band that was once a guilty pleasure are not just a laughing stock content to put out a miserable album with very few solid aspects.
The Common Misconception is a perfect example of why this band is going stale to the point of stagnancy. Their guitar work opens up with the a clear homage to bands like Trivium, whilst the vocals jump between screaming, shouting and singing whilst a slightly more enjoyable riff comes in, but the chorus only ruins this with some of the most abysmal guitar work ever. Simplicity is not really a problem in music when done correctly, but when covered with a prre-chorus involving a fade effect on the vocals and some of the most pedestrian drumming ever recorded, it really needs something to drive the music, and it fails. Another example of where the band is going wrong here is found in single Shapeshifter, a three minute snooze-fest that sounds rather like someone crying over a backing improvisation. The clean vocals are whiny and the half-shouted sections are cringe-worthy, whilst the screaming is completely monotonous.
This is not a complete trainwreck, however, as there are at least a few standout points about the album. The production in particular is a nice job here, with some nice crisp guitar tunes and the mixing is mixed so that the vocals and drums do not completely overbear the mix (as was the problem with their first album). A few of the choruses are quite catchy as well, whilst the clean guitar introduction to The Blackout before the vocals kick in sounds rather awesome and brings back memories of early A Day To Remember. In fact, pretty much the entirety of this track is fun, with the half-shouted screams sounding like their vocalist is trying to call on the demons of Hell, whilst the rest of the band actually put on quite a tight show here. Aside from these factors, however, there really is no need to check out an inferior follow-up to an already flawed debut.