Release DetailsLABEL Innerstrength Records
RELEASED ON 12/16/2003
My Bitter End
A Thin Line Between Heaven And Here
posted on 2/2004 By:
Check the band name, check the album title and cover, check the logo, check the song titles, erm… yup let me guess; emotive metallic hardcore right? Right. Done well? ‘Fraid so. I swear, sometimes I think all these bands are actually the same group of five extremely talented guys just parading as 124 different bands under different short hair and Vans guises. A welcome relief from the torrent of DEP wannabes overexerting themselves with fretboard chaos and epileptic song structures, New Jersey's My Bitter End are far more melodic within the framework of metalcore, not quite as full on as Shai Hulud, but a definite lean away from the death metal and grindcore infusions of Glass Casket. I’d safely compare My Bitter End to Hamartia, If Hope Dies or Evergreen Terrace in their more harmonic dual guitar approach.
Even though this is not a perfect album by any means, it has some noticeable efforts to stray from the norm mingled with its metalcore cliches (growled/screamed vocals, breakdowns, silly song titles), namely the drumming and a couple of the song patterns really stand out, hinting at something far better in the future. Metalcore drumming has always been the driving point of most of its bands, but drummer ‘Mike’, seems to veer away from the technical jackhammer approach, and actually introduces some very deft and delicate fills that initially go unnoticed until several listens. Instead of relying on force and percussive brutality its as if the he shares the same melodious approach as the guitars in creating something more graceful rather than never-ending pummeling. Don’t get me wrong, My Bitter End can break it down with the best of ‘em, but instead of the Remembering Never approach of telegraphed resonant, earth moving beats, My Bitter End seems more convulsive and reflective, and I think the drumming has a lot to do with it.
Song wise A Thin Line… delivers the expected goods that you would assume from the genre, and as I stated before MBE are not as brutal as some of their peers, even though they often try to force the brutality somewhat by means of a deep bellow and more discordant notes (“Neck First”, “The Smell of Dead Hookers in August”). But those songs come across as the weak link on an otherwise decent album that’s far better when spouting rending dual melodies. “666 x 0”, demonstrates My Bitter End’s ability to craft soaring riffs and emotive vocals without too much microphone hugging or tear filled eyes to the sky bullshit. While starting with an almost identical lead in, “Bury it All” gives the same display of almost perfect metalcore melody and harmonies that makes My Bitter End at times extremely promising. “Letting Go” and the title track only serve to solidify the band's knack for evocative riffs over shuddering brutality that never steps over into long acoustics of cheesy realms of wanton lovelorn self pity; just solid, pleasantly layered riffs backed by adventurous drumming and the odd head bobbing breakdown.
Unfortunately, My Bitter End show some signs of self doubt as they try to find their niche with a slightly muddy production, some underwhelming vocals (from the since departed vocalist), and a struggle to try to purvey themselves as far more brutal than they really are. “Go Go Gorilla Nuts”, epitomizes the band's dual personality perfectly as if shifts from beautiful layered riffs to rumbling/squealing dissonance awkwardly. Frankly their bottom end just can’t compete with bands like Glass Casket and Symphony In Peril . A focus on their obvious ear for melody could produce a stellarfollow up album, but as it stands, A Thin Line… is merely promising. I’ll definitely keep an eye on this lot though.
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