Sound — 10
My Bitter End is/was (the band released a statement on June 7, 2007 announcing their temporary or possibly permanent haitus) part on the new wave of metalcore/mathcore sect of hardcore music. The band has progressed significantly since the release of it's first album A Thin Line Between Heaven and Here. There have been several lineup changes as well as a new direction the band overall has been taken. The album starts with an extreemly technical piece involving some very intricate guitar work and precision drumming. The album progresses and gradually plateaus at an extreem level of hardcore that will keep your head banging for days. Then it simmers out at the end with A Proper Sendoff which is a beautifully written piece with many catchy acoustic riffs as well as distorted ones. This band is known for its wide variety of musical influences ranging from pounding death metal breakdowns to smooth jazz inspired riffs. Guitarists Todd Ranne and A.J. Tompkins harmonize perfectly on their off-time progressions and melodic undertones which are backed by the amazing drumming of Todd's brother Mike whose skill is up there with the likes of Joey Jordison and Tim Yeung.
Lyrics — 7
Because of MBE's style of music there is very little room for catchy clean lyrics (although there are some in the song Finding Level Ground) so lead singer Tyler Guida sticks mainly with an unintelligible growl which ranges from gut wrenching low to ear piercing high with very little room in between. Tyler's voice manages to flow well through the songs while leaving enough room for instrumentals and not overpowering them at all. Due to this, approxomately midway through any song, the vocals start to sound just like another instrument and blend in perfectly. There is no steady theme in this album, so the lyrics talk about a variety of dark topics such as regret, denial, hate, and other basic themes covered in most death metal bands. There is much repetition of verses in different tones, and because the lyrics do not rhyme, they often border on angry ranting.
Overall Impression — 9
MBE has been compared to many bands such as Beneath the Sky, Arch Enemy, Daughters and Pysopus, and Beneath the Buried and Me. Although they share a similar genre with bands such as Converge, The Human Abstract, and The Dillinger Escape Plan, they have created their own little niche in the metal world. it is apparent that a lot of work and musicianship has gone into every song on the album, and none of them seem thrown together at all. My personal favorites are Becoming Misfortune (it transitions smoothly from heavy breakdown to melodic riff in perfect time and sounds amazing the whole way through. Mike's double bass drumming is simply mindblowing in this song), To All Things Expendable (at first look it seems like a series of random choruses and riffs thrown together. But hearing it a second time you can see the intricacy of every part of the song and how it flows together perfectly), A Proper Sendoff (this song is so catchy that it is addictive! The play count on my iPod says that I have listened to it 15 times, and I have only had the album for about 2 weeks. The perfect transitions from acoustic to deathcore are amazing and every single part is incredible. Great way to end a great album). The super fast drumming, the great guitar and bass parts, and solid vocals combine to make the Renovation one of my favorite albums. If someone stole this album, I'd probably grab a shotgun from the shed and go thief huntin'.