Tear Out the Heart: Dead, Everywhere
Dead, Everywhereis one of those certain instances in which an album cover depicts exactly what's to come. The second album by Victory Records-signed quintet Tear Out the Heart, the record's first impression comes in the image of a boot stomping down on a victim's chest. It certainly describes the immediacy of the band's aggressive metalcore sound, and its black-and-white nature only furthers the suggested darkness and intensity. This is very important to bring up, considering how stagnant the image and overall vibe of melodic metalcore has become in recent times; in a sea of generic bands who are simply following the general trends, some bands definitely need to stand out. Luckily, Tear Out the Heart are more than just this striking image.
Following in the footsteps of bands like Motionless in White, Dead, Everywhere ends up trying to take a "brutality-meets-beauty" approach. Incredibly thick guitar riffs and groove metal-inspired breakdowns are adorned with beautiful piano and orchestral arrangements, bringing out a veritable dynamic range not usually present in many of the genre's current heavyweights such as All That Remains or Parkway Drive. With moments like the haunting soundscapes of "Viking Funeral" or the unsettling atmosphere of the monologue in the intro track, there's certainly a sense of dread and tragedy that pervades the experience. There are some gothic influences here and there, which can end up being either creepy or silly: "The Epitome of Misery" even adds in a segment that combines your typical breakdown with a synthesizer melody that sounds like something straight out of The Nightmare Before Christmas! Many of the strictly metal-oriented songs are generally
solid as well; the band definitely fall into the trap of making generic riffs and breakdowns from time to time, but it's worth it for the sheer amount of aggression involved and the well-executed clean vocals during the choruses. It's definitely a treat to pick out each act that might have influenced this band: you hear some Slipknot in the style of the shouts and screams, the faster portions are definitely reminiscent of As I Lay Dying's thrash elements, and there's even the occasional deathcore-inspired grunt or riff that changes the pace of the music a bit. But the persistent heaviness and dark atmosphere are still what makes things so unique and engaging throughout.
Unfortunately, despite all of this, the overall homogeneity is what derails a decent chunk of the experience. "Viking Funeral" is definitely a welcome break from the incessant heaviness because, by the middle of the album, the general formula of the songwriting does get pretty old. The guitar parts start to blend together after a while, particularly during those aforementioned groove-inspired breakdowns; some more flashy drum fills or some more prominence in the guitar leads would have shaken things up a bit. But the biggest issue with Dead, Everywhere lies in its weak lyrics. Sure, Tyler Konersman sells it vocally, but it can be hard to stomach cliched and corny lines like "Will I face the truth that I'm losing all of you?" or the always-classic "I'M NO FUCKING FAKE." It's more than a little juvenile, which is a shame when you hear such promising musicians stick to such mediocre or painful lyricism. Again, however, the delivery of the lyrics can occasionally make up for this shortcoming.
It's hard to tell where Tear Out the Heart will go from here, although it would definitely be neat to capitalize on the dark environments they've crafted with these songs. Dead Everywhere might not be any sort of masterpiece -- in its genre or otherwise -- but it's an incredibly solid slab of both melodic and brutal metalcore that definitely puts heavy emphasis on the metal. This is a band to keep an eye on in the future... but until then, it's time to give this yet another spin.
1. Dead, Everywhere
2. Feel Real
3. I've Got Secrets
4. Damage Control
5. The Rejected
6. Boiled Nails
7. Breaking Through
8. Viking Funeral
9. You Are No King
11. School of Bleeders
12. The Epitome of Misery
Added: March 11th 2015
Reviewer: Brendan Schroer
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
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