An Eye for an EyeFeatured review by: UG Team, on july 10, 2013 3 of 4 people found this review helpful
Sound: Have you heard of this thing called metalcore? Some of it's pretty good. It's got all the great melodic riffs from metal music, the production's really heavy and... well... it doesn't have much to do with hardcore punk these days but that's where the name came from. Sounds exciting, right? Well, the best thing about it is that there are so many bands doing it at the moment. If you get bored of one, you can just move on to another and keep on headbanging. You'll come across Like Moths To Flames 10 or 20 bands into the cycle; they only started a few years ago in Ohio but their new album "An Eye for an Eye" comes out of the blocks with the confidence of a band who's been doing it for a long time.
They like to do it with a fair amount of dissonance. Slow riffs crunch in tritones and half-steps, guided by bass drum patterns which change speed every few seconds to keep listeners guessing. Creepy clean guitar overdubs on "Deathmarks" and "The Blackout" strike an uneasy chord which, besides making the whole thing a little heavier, prepare the listener for the changes which come with the choruses: overegged drama, Americanised emotion and lots and lots of vocal harmonies. You'll get an adrenaline rush when the moodiness is stripped away.
One of the other things you tend to find in modern metalcore not everybody's into them is breakdowns. This is where the band all lurch together into a single groove on a low, heavy note, stripping the music of anything which doesn't feed into that rhythm. Like Moths To Flames did this a lot on their first album, "When We Don't Exist," and I think they've used some of those ones again here. It's hard to tell. "Into the Ground" and "A Feast for Crows" have traces of djent, another type of groove-based metal, using its signature guitar sound to make the low chugs bounce. Eli Ford and Zach Huston tune down to Bb, so it's just as well not every breakdown has the same production or else you'd want to rip your stomach out.
If it's originality you're after, then there is a degree of it here. Seasoned metalcore fans tend not to be too impressed by breakdowns anymore, but between the ominous backdrop and Will Putney's punishing mixing job the five-piece forge something of an individual sound. "Serpent Herders" and ethereal closer "My Own Personal Hell" are standout tracks, setting the scene with bespoke atmospherics and making the inevitable descent into brutal, gruelling dissonance all the more satisfying. // 6
Lyrics: Vocalist Chris Roetter invests great deals of anger into this band. Every other word drips with hate. The difficulty is that it's only passed onto the listener half of the time; anti-Christianity's not for everyone but you can at least go along with "Nothing But Blood" ("I've bled myself enough for you/the holy one") but there are some moments which are oddly less appealing ("what I really need is for you to go f--k yourself"). Besides the half-baked pop-rock of "In Dreams" (no, really), Roetter screams with honesty and desperation, which always gives metal and hardcore bands an edge regardless of whether you can relate to their lyrics. // 7
Overall Impression: If you haven't been scared off yet then I suggest you listen to a couple of tracks at the bottom of this review. If you're in the right state of mind and you're the right age then this album is more than capable of taking you on a ride. It's very powerful if you let it have its way. Either way, I hope you enjoyed your adventure into the world of modern metalcore! Like Moths To Flames do it quite well, I hope you agree, but they struggle to do anything really spectacular and that kind of sums up where the genre is at these days. Now, do you want to listen to something else? // 6
An Eye for an Eye
Drapte, on july 23, 2013 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: Let's start with the mix. It sounds great, it's very evenly balanced and nothing is over powered. You get to hear all the usual effects expected on a metalcore album but they are not overused and add to the overall experience. This is a very tight album and is not overproduced which is refreshing in this day and age.
The Riffage:Like Moths To Flames are not August Burns Red or All That Remains. What I mean by that is they are not a band heavily focused on their guitar riffs. The guitars are there to play their part in the mix and I ultimately respect the way the album has done this. In drumming it is often respected when a drummer shows discipline and holds back and this album is a good example of the guitarists doing the same.
I love drums I always have and always will and this album reminds me of why I do. Let me just say the drum kick is f*&%*$g punchy! But on the technical side of it the drums are perfect, they don't overstep their boundaries ever and I personally have a saying that if you don't notice them then they are correct and the drums on this album blend in like a chameleon.
I will cover vocals in the next section! // 8
Lyrics: Okay, onto the vocals.
I find it hard to listen to screams and catch what they are saying as easy as I do with singing and what I really mean by that is that I find it hard to remember every word because let's face it, it's not very clear. However I did look up the lyrics to the album and they are your average metalcore lyrics, what can I say it has its place so whatever.
The screams are great, a mix of false chord and power fry done to an excellent level. The ability of the vocalist is fantastic and his voice really is enviable to an upcoming screamer. The singing is also good, it's not too whiny which is again refreshing. However I would have appreciated if they had mixed the vocals up a bit more rather then the predictable cleans over the chorus and screams in the verses. // 8
Overall Impression: It's 2013. Music is evolving as it always will but not every band / album can be a revolutionary, sometimes we need a band or album to just do it's job and fit the scene. "An Eye For And Eye" is a good example of this, there's nothing you haven't heard before on here and it's not going to be one to remember in 10 years but right now it's hot and it works. The album is overall a fantastically balanced release and at times this is it's down fall as you want to hear something a bit crazy but I'm not complaining.
- Breakdowns: Check
- Clean Choruses: Check
- Heavy Verses: Check
If you like bands like Issues, Woe, Is Me, We Came As Romans I'd recommend checking this out. Overall it's a great release I bet the band and their label (Rise) are happy with it. // 8