With Passion
What We See When We Close Our Eyes

I rather enjoyed the debut EP In the Midst of Bloodied Soil from this Sacramento metalcore act, as is brought some synth laced, epic blackened majesty to metalcore. However, with a considerable line-up shuffle, their Earache full-length debut sounds like a slightly different beast.

That doesn’t make it a bad record, its just a bit more cliché now culling far heavier from the like of Between the Buried and Me and such. That’s to say ultra melodic, yet still chaotic and a tad progressive. It’s like the band heard the last All Shall Perish and The Human Abstract albums, and said “Man, those arpeggio solos rock-lets do a whole album of it”. And they do.

It seems that rather than actual riffs, What We See When We Close Our Eyes often seems like one looooooong swirling, juiced up harmonic arpeggio solo layered over scattershot drums and black/melodic death metal rasping. At times, it’s pretty stunning as to be honest guitarists Jeff Morgan and John Abernathy are truly skilled players that deliver the shred with Paul Waggoner (Between The Buried and Me) on steroids gusto. But by the same toke, they also need some Ritalin to calm down a bit and settle into a riff or solo for longer than a few seconds. At their best, such as the title track, “RJ McReady” and the albums last two amazing, lengthy tracks “Vengeance In Departure” and “A Road For the Worthy”, With Passion and namely Morgan and Abernathy are nothing short of stunning. At their worst (“Pale Horse Ride”, “Tales of Sirens”, “Encryption”) they come across like a forgetful, overly exerted Shai Hulud meets Between the Buried and Me throwing an overly dramatic and ultra busy temper tantrum. Throw in a fair amount of acoustic introspection and a pretty cheap sounding instrumental track (“Triumph Over Tragedy”) and the album ends up a truly, hot and cold affair.

Still, the highs of the album, especially the last two tracks, make the album a recommend purchase, and guitar noodle lovers are going to enjoy the finger cramping air guitar shenanigans. I personally am waiting for a song to be downloadable for Guitar Hero II and make my finger tendons explode.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
April 14th, 2007

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