Reviewed by Bec Hennessy

I’m not a big fan of metalcore. Maybe I’m old and uncool, but I prefer my metal and my hardcore separate. I do have a soft spot for As I Lay Dying though, so y’know I can still kinda relate.. right kids?

USA kids Tear Out The Heart have only been around since 2011, yet are well versed in the ways of the ‘core. Glancing at the tracklist for this release leads me to believe these guys have a slight interest in the horror genre. Their vocals are described as ‘sinister’. This piques my interest.

It takes a while for me to warm to these guys. ‘Undead Anthem’ lurches in with creepy effect. The screams and growls dominating over some sweet low heavy riffs.  Clean vocals ride the breakdown with addition of keyboards which is a nice touch.

Coffin Eyes ’is probably my personal favourite – fading in with a crunching duelling piano vs guitar breakdown. Threatening “I’ve killed before and I liked it” before guttural growls takeover. The drumming is punishing, the guitars and bass bludgeoning. At a succinct 2 minutes 50 it’s by far the shortest track. But I think that’s part of why it works. Too often in metalcore, artists just try to cram in yet another breakdown or another clean vocal harmony leaving tracks to feel crowded or too rambling. Knowing when to stop gets these guys a tick from me.

Elsewhere ‘Closure’ grabs me with a slow sporadic drumbeat, and echoing guitar line.  Emotionally horse vocals confessing the difficulties of life. A wall of noise then builds to add it’s weight to the vocal desperation.

I’m not a fan of the clean vocals here. Not that they are bad, I just think I’m a bit over the whole clean/scream/clean thing, this genres version of verse/chorus/verse. I liked that they added some keyboards on a few tracks too – which added a bit of vulnerability and prettiness that pushed them out of the metalcore mould.

As a first release this is pretty promising, especially for such a relatively young band.



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