Release DetailsLABEL Crash Music
RELEASED ON 8/24/2004
Single Bullet Theory
Behind Eyes of Hatred
posted on 12/2004 By:
Single Bullet Theory. They've toured with a lot of bands that you probably care about. You probably know somebody who knows somebody who owns one of their CDs. Armed with a powerfully boring thrash/nu-metal hybrid, they're seemingly determined to create disinterest across the globe.
Already starting on a bad note with me, the first track, "A View From Nowhere", is a pretty typical modern thrash song from the get go. Although lacking in innovation, it's performed solidly. That is, until the clean and shrill vocals come in during the chorus, completely ruining whatever continuity they had. It's incredibly irritating - imagine the singer from Nevermore contracts a terrible illness and insists on still singing. It gets worse, too. After finding a way to make breakdowns even more banal, they transition into a slow vapid passage with clean guitar and whispered vocals. If they had just stuck with the main riff and eliminated the vocals from the chorus, it could've been a good song. I really like the vocals, handled by Matt DiFabio (Pissing Razors), when they're not sung. I mean they are well sung, it just sounds extremely out of place amidst the band's straightforward delivery. I can't say I understand the guitarwork though. With their well-written solos, you'd expect the members of Single Bullet Theory could write some main riffs that are slightly more complex than what you'd find on a Skinlab record. It's so disappointing to hear a great introduction or break go back to the bland verses. "In Sequence", which comes across as slightly anthemic, works well with the clean vocals due to the epic guitar progressions and the dreamy mid-section. Uncharacteristic in comparison with the rest of the album, which for the most part is insipid garbage, it's a welcome relief. Oh, and the final track, "Shades Of Things To Come" is alright too.
And it's an hour long. Who does that? Who writes five minute mid-paced thrash songs? I guess the same band that likes to be "varied" enough to needlessly cram a power-ballad into an "aggressive" album in 2004.
Another strong gripe I have about Behind Eyes of Hatred is the production. The drums sound flat and toneless, like someone's playing on a garbage can. The drumwork is pretty consistent - they could at least honor it by making it sound decent. The bass clicks constantly. The vocals are layered pretty thoroughly, giving a band with such a formulaic delivery a synthetic sound - a terrible idea. Needless to say, I was pretty shocked to hear the production was done by James Murphy.
I'm not disappointed as I didn't expect anything, although I did gather there was a reason this was taking so long to be reviewed around here. My guess is no one could sit through it the entire duration. I couldn't do it for a second time. If it's the sort of release that takes time to get into, I don't want to get into it, as the first few listens are the equivalent to intensive dental surgery. I can almost smell the drill. Essentially, the problem with Behind Eyes of Hatred is that the band gives you glimpses of what they're capable of, but never allow themselves to actualize it. They're aiming for a mainstream sound while trying to retain some credibility. Unfortunately, in the process, they're missing the mark and probably pushing most people even further away. Not horribly bad, just really not good. Very okay.
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