Destroy the Runner
Saints

Like semi commercial Christian metalcore? Like Demon Hunter, As I Lay Dying, A Love Ends Suicide, As Cities Burn and War Of Ages? Just go ahead and grab this and forgo my review.

Though not as heavy as label mates Becoming the Archetype and August Burns Red, Destroy the Runner are neither as commercial as label mates Underoath, Haste The Day or He Is Legend, but lie somewhere in between. With lots and lots of soaring clean sung choruses and happy melodies breaking up the solidly rendered Euro-melo-death metal canter and hardcore break downs, Destroy The Runner are purely by the numbers and as predictable as can be, and though competent and superbly produced and certainly enjoyable, the cliched and formulaic nature of the genre is highlighted by slightly sub par song writing.

As I Lay Dying with few more clean vocals is the most immediate and obvious comparison, as well as the Christian mantra, but San Diego’s Destroy The Runner (despite the fact I really didn’t care for Shadows Are Security) just don’t consistently have “it”. The Showdown had “it”. Antagonist has “it” and War of Ages has “it”. “It” is that rare ability to take known and overused metal elements and make them work around astute, memorable songs that make you forget what generic tripe you are actually listening too. Destroy The Runner are not quite to that level yet (though they get close on “From the Red” and “Sound of Reason”) and they are also hindered by the slightly too emo clean vocals are a bit too wimpy for the rest of the band’s serviceable heaviness, so when used almost exclusively as on tracks like “Saints”, the bands acceptable ‘heavy’ side is forgotten as in moderately enjoyable tracks like “Thoughts In Reverse”, “From The Red”, “Separate” and “The Aleph”, the metal aspect tends to get washed away by clean vocal overkill.

That all being said for a very well produced, high energy Christian metalcore album, Saints is perfectly acceptable and fits well of Solid State’s roster, but is certainly not quite ready to challenge As I Lay Dying just yet.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
November 14th, 2006

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