Dillinger Escape Plan seemed to have opened the doors for a multitude of bands to emerge on the scene who are playing a highly technical or "chaotic" brand of extreme metal. Massachusetts' The Hostage Heart are one of these bands, and this new EP is a small sampling of what they have to offer. Musically speaking, these guys are tight and have plenty of chops to spare, as their twin guitar attack just pummels the listener into submission with relentless heavy riffs, wild time changes, and blinding dual harmony leads. The bass player and drummer also have the whole "Slayer-on-speed" thing down pat, as they lay down dizzying double bass drum and rapid fire four-string bursts at the speed of light.
The problem I'm finding with The Hostage Heart is that the vocals of Chris Diamantis are just way too grating and distracting. His non-stop barrage of screaming and gutteral outbursts seems to take away from the intense musical mayhem that is going on. With the exception of some moments on "The First Signs of Wordly Cancer", the singer is intent on totally taking over each song with his maniacal screaming, and after a while it becomes too much. Earlier I mentioned Dillinger Escape Plan, who also use over the top extreme vocals, but they have perfected the craft of making the vocals palatable and even melodic at times. More importantly they fit the songs and don't necessarily take them over. The Hostage Heart are not there yet. If they can reign in Diamantis somewhat, they just might find the magic formula. They have the chops to get themselves going in that direction.
1) Pressing My Lips to the Cup of Wrath and Death
2) Armaggedon Outta Here
3) Dead Front Tooth
4) Destroy, Rebuild, Destroy
5) The First Signs of Worldly Cancer
6) I Liked Them Better When They Were Local