Sound — 10
First impressions when I stuck In The Wake Of Separation into my CD player? I'd heard the opening track (the fast & furious Cold Victim) before but each time it hits me just as it did before. That's the best bit about Thine Eyes Bleed. Their sound hits you just as hard every time, and does so time & again. The drums are as intricate & relentlessly thrash-tastic as the excellent riffing produced by guitarists Jeff Philips & Derek Ward. Take your time to figure out some of the songs on this album & you'll see these guys are doing something so many other metal bands out there are failing at right now: they are being individual. Moving away from the same old boring fret patterns & licks. The recording quality isn't fantastic, but take a look back at debuts such as Slayer's Show No Mercy or Lamb Of God's New American Gospel and you can it's a standard pattern for first albums to be a little rough around the edges in terms of production. Though this is not a bad thing! If anything it adds a further stroke of individuality. Oh, and Thine Eyes Bleed love pinch harmonics (: And the way they do them, so do I. Normally if a band overdoes them you can tell instantly, but no matter how many these guys cram into this album every single one sounds as good as the last. Thine Eyes Bleed's sound is explosive, hard-hitting & different to so many other upcoming bands out there right now. For me it couldn't have been better.
Lyrics — 9
The lyrics are quite strange on this album, though they can give you a "stop and think" moment in places. The lyrical theme is always dark: death, isolation, helplessness and anger are primary themes to what Justin screams about and to me this fits in with the music really well: the music itself is so dark & furious that it needs equally dark & furious words. And then we move on to how the lyrics themselves are put out: via vocalist Justin Wolfe's equally relentess harsh screams & roars. It is incredibly hard for a vocalist of this nature to be individual today: countless metal bands are following the trend of the deep growls & piercing screams & everyone is starting to sound the same. Although Justin does nothing ground-breaking with his voice it does however sound awesome. It's harsh, raw & above all pure, cold fury. He pelts out the words with all the force & feeling he has, and it puts such cold emotion into the music it almost induces goosebumps.
Overall Impression — 9
On the whole this album is the thrashiest, most brutally evil album I have heard in a long time. There may be more technical guitarists out there, faster drummers, vocalists who can do "better" screams, but so much feeling went into this album and this shines through every time I hear a song from it. This band is so underrated on the metal scene it's a disgrace, they deserve so much more recognition for this album due to the sheer ingenuity. There are no weak songs on this album. Each is as solid in musicianship & structure as the previous: particularly memorable parts of songs include the pinch harmonics in Track 9, Consequence Unknown, as well as the rip-roaring drums all through Cold Victim; and the disturbingly emotional solo in Track 3, And Since Forgotton. If I lost this album I would go out and buy it again the very same day, rain or shine. And I'd make sure it's the one with the bonus track on it, the demo titled Better Off Dead. An incredible song you wouldn't want to miss out on! If you were to listen to the likes of Slayer & other earlier thrash bands you would probably hear their influences in this album: fast, angry drumming, cold & guttural vocals, all beset with fast & technical guitaring. This is contemporary thrash at it's finest. Forget the likes of Trivium and Sanctity: Thine Eyes Bleed is where it's at. And with a new album out this Summer I for one can't wait to see what happens next for these fresh-faced, underrated thrash giants.