Release Date: Feb 19, 2008
Label: Breaksilence Recordings
Number Of Tracks: 12
Although technically a screamo band, Eyes Set To Kill is at its strongest when it puts the focus on the melody alone.
UG Team, on february 21, 2008 4 of 4 people found this review helpful
Sound: Fueled by its strong presence on MySpace, Eyes Set To Kill makes it apparent on the new album Reach why the group has attracted such fanfare. There are a lot of great elements within the quintet, with the focal point being vocalist/guitarist Alexia Rodriguez. But for as strong as Rodriguez is, Eyes Set To Kill insists on being screamo and that aspect ends up being unnecessarily distracting at times. For as many screams or distorted guitars that the band writes in it's songs, it is still Rodriguez that is the driving force with her unexpectedly sweet, yet strong vocal style.
Reach starts out very strong with the instrumental Intro, which sounds like a classical piano piece with a twist. Rather than it just being a straight piano, the guitars follow the same style as the piano and it ends up being a beautifully arranged orchestration. It immediately sets a mood, and more importantly, it makes a nice contrast to the next track aptly titled Song 2 (no relation to the Blur hit). While the opening sections of Song 2 are pretty much just power chords, there is a fantastic breakdown later on that feels like it could be part 2 of Intro.
The album is filled with very cool melodies, but there are just too many times when solid tracks get saturated by keyboardist/vocalist Brandon Anderson's screaming. The worst offender is actually Song 2, which would otherwise be a great song. On that particular track, Eyes Set To Kill seems to think every melodic line from Rodriguez needs to be repeated word for word by screaming Anderson. They do get it right in Darling, which you could classify as one of the more metal songs on the album. In that particular case, the screams fit in perfectly and work well with the underlying melody.
Alexia Rodriguez and Greg Kerwin deserve to be noticed for their dual guitar work on the album, which is at it's best on tracks like Behind These Eyes. Granted, there are a lot of bands who have resurrected the classic Maiden sound and Eyes Set To Kill might not rank among the best, but Rodriguez and Kerwin do have some impressive moments. // 7
Lyrics: Apparently Alexia Rodriguez is responsible for most of the lyrics on Reach, and they are effective for the most part. You get songs about such topics as divorce or staying to yourself in the music world, and of course a few relationship-themed songs along the way. You get a taste of everything, with a song like Young Blood Spills Tonight bouncing between romantic and downright angry. // 7
Overall Impression: There are plenty of positives about Reach, and Eyes Set To Kill shouldn't have any trouble attracting an even larger audience (with or without MySpace). The main issue is that the vocals of Rodriguez are strong enough to stand on their own and are interrupted way too many times by Anderson's screams. I read that they wanted to put their own unique mark on the screamo sound, but the band's approach honestly doesn't seem to be too far from what other bands have done in the past. There are a few songs on the album that feature screaming in appropriate, anger-driven parts, and it's in those moments when it feels like there was a little more thought put into the songwriting. // 7
unregistered, on february 25, 2008 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: Eyes Set To Kill I must say has a really impressive sound. Alexia's vocals sound gentle yet powerful in a way. Although those words contradict themselves, her voice is amazing together with Brandon's screaming vocals creating a very interesting harmony and melody. Although there ARE times where Brandon's screaming isn't needed. The screaming sounds best when used in duet format such as the song "Violent Kiss" during it's chorus. It seems to sound VERY good in the song "A Sketch In Black & White". Especially the last chorus, for it sounds most powerful at the end. Brandon's keyboard, I think, sounds best everywhere it is played. He does not come in unless it will definately sound good there. Also, both guitars sound powerful just about everywhere. They play back and forth between each other perfectly. Overall, there sound is very interesting and unique and awesome to listen to, yet there are some qualities that get to sound rather cliche after a while. // 8
Lyrics: Lyrics. The lyrics are written very well. Although in a lot of their songs, almost often, words are repeated. But many of their songs can be very catchy and have deep lyrics. Again "Violent Kiss" has very meaningful lyrics in them. "Take my hand. Grip it tightly (Don't let go)". Lyrics such as those are very powerful in their own way. Songs like "Give You My All" after a while with repeated lyrics start to get old. But there is a lot of variety in the lyrics so it pretty much makes up for it and balances out everything. // 8
Overall Impression: Eyes Set To Kill is a very impressive band with a very impressive sound on their hands. I myself am eager to hear more from them and can't wait for it actually. This is one of my favorite screamo bands or may possibly BE my favorite. Their style is powerful and unique. Every little thing on each of there songs just about comes in where it has to, except for some things listed above. But overall, Eyes Set To Kill is a great band and the album "Reach" is definately an album one should buy if they are a true screamo fan. // 9