Release DetailsLABEL Victory
RELEASED ON 10/31/2006
Scars Of Tomorrow
The Failure In Drowning
posted on 3/2007 By:
In the amount of time it’s taken me to finish this review Scars Of Tomorrow have managed to call it quits. Judging from the bad production and generally sub par songwriting on The Failure In Drowning, they should have thrown in the towel after Horror Of Realization. That way they would have at least left a semi-untarnished legacy (the first album is kind of rough) but alas now I must kick a dead horse a bit more.
From what I gather there was a massive line-up change from the time their last record came out to this one. That would have been the perfect time to cease operations, especially if they lost any major songwriting members, but I guess the remaining members still felt there was some life left in Scars Of Tomorrow. So the easy target for the lackluster songwriting would be the new members but I also think their creative idea sapping album-per-year release cycle has something to do with it as well. Much like Carnal Forge, you test your fans' patience by releasing slight variations on the same thing year after year with the regularity of your Metamucil sippin’ grandma. But enough of the external reasons this album just doesn’t quite cut it. Let’s get to the music itself.
The Failure In Drowning gets off to a rough start with what is probably one of the worst kick drum sounds I’ve heard on a major independent record in a long time. It’s a super synthetic clicking sound with zero heft or substance. It just sounds like a series of mechanical clicks accidentally inserted over the music. In the days of triggered drums, Pro Tools, and big name producers it seems odd everyone involved let this mix get mastered as it sounds now. Maybe they were going for a more Fear Factory-ish industrial vibe, something they’ve been playing with since Rope Tied To Trigger, but it’s gone awry here, sounding far too much like a drum machine. It makes double bass sections, that should be the more aggressive moments on the album, really distracting. Thankfully the first song is the absolute worst as it becomes a bit less distracting as the album progresses, either because you get used to it or it was just mixed differently from song to song.
As for the songwriting, it’s your fairly typical chuggy, breakdown centric metalcore but that’s sadly the point. It’s missing some of the epic sweep, more intricate riffing and generally more aggressive nature of their earlier work. Instead we’re treated to more simplistic executions with way more emphasis on melodic choruses with clean vocals. Now, they’ve always had a modicum of clean vocals, from the spoken word style on their first couple records to the sung style of recent records, but it’s nothing like the amount here. Like present day Atreyu, there’s heavily harmonized clean vocal choruses sung over simple, almost pop metal sounding fare on almost every song. Coupled with the less technical songwriting in general and their proximity to Atreyu and that whole scene, it makes you wonder if this was a conscious grab at attracting more mallcore fans. The cynic in me thinks yes, especially if they knew they were never going to achieve the technical merits of previous work, but everything outside of the choruses is still pretty hard hitting.
This swansong effort isn’t a total disaster, but nor does it live up to the legacy of those that came before it. It’s just a cleaner, safer version of Scars Of Tomorrow that has a few bright moments, namely “The Untold Truth”, but ultimately they should have stopped before penning this unworthy memoriam. I wish them luck in future endeavors and hope they have the foresight and courage to put down their horse if it gets lame the next go around.
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RelatedScars Of Tomorrow
The Horror of Realization
10/18/2005 Scars Of Tomorrow
Rope Tied To The Trigger