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4 out of 10
Straight out of the starting blocks, the double bass pedalling begins, closely followed by some razor-sharp guitar-work and an impenetrable guttural roar, and you know immediately where this is going. It's the same place that every other metalcore/screamo release from the past five years has gone - absolutely nowhere. The press release promises innovation, progression, exalting End The century as a band to take us into the next decade. Unfortunately this is nothing you and I haven't heard before. (And whether you think I'm talking about the music or the hype at this point is entirely up to you).
Perhaps I'm being a bit harsh, but for every plus point I can think of, there's something to counter it. For example -
There's some excellent musicianship on show, especially from drummer Chase Whitney (A metalcore band name in itself, if ever I saw one), but that's to be expected these days, with your Black Tides and Rolo Tomassis becoming virtuosos and getting record deals before they've even finished high school.
The production is crisp and powerful for a self-released CD, but anyone with Pro-tools and an empty garage can probably do the same.
'Entr'aote' slows everything down to try and show a bit of variety, but the vocals are still barked out, so it doesn't really fit.
When the clean vocal lines do show up, it just feels like they've decided to shove them in to seem a bit more accessible (Unnecessary really, as I'm sure they'll be a shoo-in for the local support slot on whatever As I Lay Dying/Underoath/Still Remains tour happens to be rolling through their town).
Unless you wear nothing but black skinny fit clothing, and accessorize your asymmetric haircut with snakebite piercings and a scowl, you probably don't need to consider this an essential purchase.
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