Sound — 9
Something happened to Texas In July this past year. Something that could be for better or for worse. Lead vocalist Alex Good, and lead guitarist Christian Royer left the band supposedly earlier this year, but they honestly left a little over a year ago. They both stopped touring with the band during I believe all of Warped Tour dates in the summer of 2013. This left me somewhat speechless, since I had seen them last December in support of The Devil Wears Prada. I had no idea until later on that I saw them with JT Cavey, new lead vocalist. Looking back, the performance seemed much different than what I was used to, as he performed TIJ's past material. I have not seen this band ever live so I don't know how well Alex did. What I did notice from most recent live performances is that he seemed a little off. Not really in the best shape or form, but JT steps up to the plate on his first studio album with TIJ and just absolutely slaughters the mic. Not every track I would nearly call amazing, but JT's vocals itself are spot on, unlike anything Alex had done before (also weak point in the band before). Guitars, and bass have also improved in most tracks. "Illuminate" has some amazing guitar tremeloing. "Decamilli" is the one all instrumental track that will take you by surprise. The guitar riffs, and solo are just outstanding. Adam's drumming also is superb, as usual.
Lyrics — 9
The first song, "Broken Soul" leaked. Lyrics are 100 times better than anything this band has written before, and I think it's mainly because JT was the main contributor to them, unlike in the past Ben did them for Alex. All typical metalcore lines have basically been tossed away, however the brutality still lies within.
"Linger on broken soul
Swallowed up in this hole
Virtues that remain intact,
Refuse to walk down your own path
Another day, another victim takes its toll."
The next track, "Sweetest Poison" has got an edge to it that will leave you breathless:
"I'm letting go, I'm starting over
To clear my name and walk my own path
I'm on my own, and now I'm closer
To finding a way to bring me back."
The music video also makes me respect these guys so much more. Another one of my favorites happens to be "Inner Demons." Now I wouldn't call these lyrics typical metalcore lyrics, but they are metalcore lyrics with a unique twist.
"I am the skin in your teeth. I am the look of defeat.
I'm your nightmare unleashed. I am the sword in the sheathe.
I am the lust in sheets. I am the pride underneath.
I am the wrath on repeat. I am the eyes when you cheat.
I am the darkest streets. I am the goal unreached.
I am the waves on the beach that swept you out to sea.
Although I guarantee that I can be freed.
Let go of regret that's haunting me."
Overall Impression — 8
This album dropped during a very dark period of time in my life. I have been jamming it ever since it came out. Thankfully, things have seemed to have gotten a bit better. The Levi Benton guest solo on "The Void" seemed a bit off. Although, I've honestly lost interest in Miss May I for the most part. This band, however, looks like a continuance of evolution. JT can put this band on the map for the way he performs. Hopefully I get to see these guys soon. A potential headliner would be amazing because I would love to see them perform some of these songs live!