Through The Eyes Of The Dead
posted on 2/2010 By:
I’ll admit my excitement for the third album from Through the Eyes of the Dead, a band I have followed since 2004's The Scars of Ages EP, is somewhat tempered for a few reasons. First off, the band only has one original member, with most (4/5s) of the band going off and releasing a decent CD last year under the Graves of Valor moniker- which was basically a TTEOTD album. Second, vocalist Nate Johnson, who performed on 2007's Malice is no longer in the fold- and he is one of my favorite vocalists in the metalcore/deathcore scene. Third, gone is Erik Rutan as producer., with the band having a slightly muddy/muffled self production. And while Rutan’s work is hit or miss, his presence brought some metal respectability. And lastly releases by The Red Shore, Those Who Lie Beneath, As You Drown (and of course Graves of Valor) and such simply lessen the impact of Skepsis.
What you are left with is a pretty cookie cutter example of modernized death metal/deathcore/metalcore that tries really hard to be death metal with its crumbling/blasting prose – a la Job For A Cowboy, but ends up trying so hard, it's slightly forgetful. For all its growling, hefty delivery, Skepsis simply lacks the certain chemistry and ferocity of Malice or Bloodlust, and frankly it sounds rather contrived, despite the band (well, lone original member Justin Longshore) claiming this is their most heavy, personal brutal and speediest release yet. That’s all well and good, but there’s tangibly little chemistry as all the members seem to just be doing their part. Don’t get me wrong, they all perform well, and their whole comes together into a competent modern death metal affair, but it's not as impactful as Malice or some of the aforementioned releases.
That all being said, Skepsis isn’t a bad album. It’s just an album that doesn’t really do anything special in a genre that really isn’t that special right now. Tracks like “No Haven,” “Siphonaptera From Within” and the closing title track all have requisite moments of loping death metal heft and some The Black Dahlia Murder styled slicing solos, but in the end the album blends together, with none of the tracks really sticking or screaming to be re-visited making for a strictly solid album that disappoints from the band's early promise.
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