Sacramento's With Passion was formed in 2002, releasing their first EP In the Midst of Bloodied Soil a few years later. After undergoing several member changes and playing hundreds of shows, the band was ready to record their full-length debut which they cut at Mana Studio, the home of Erik Rutan (Hate Eternal, Morbid Angel).
The ten songs presented on this album are all a successful mix of melodic death metal with the occasional technical riffery; fast blast beats as well as crazy polyrhythm explosions; and the typical screamed vocal style of bands like Between the Buried and Me. Fidel Campos also opts for more classic death metal growls though. On the technically challenging title track, imbued with intense guitar riffery and smashing drum and bass battery, his growling recalls the Florida death metal scene. However, the screamed, metalcore-ish vocals are not dropped for good on any song -- as the piece gains momentum so does Campos' singing style. On "Pale Horses Ride", guitarists Jeffrey Morgan and John Abernathy exert beautiful sweep picking and generate a thorough melodic edge. The clean acoustic break is also a great feat, demonstrating the band's sense of composition. More on the guitar front, the duo's clean ostinato phrases on "Through the Smoke Lies a Path" are sublime. The piano and synth motif on the brief "Triumph Over Tragedy" segue into the staccato-ridden onslaught of "Encypton", marked with Maiden's galloping riffage that also constituted much of the Gothenburg scene in the 90's. Special mention goes to bass player Michael Nordeen whose contribution to each and every song is vital: his stomping, ever-present bass lines take these songs on a totally different level.
Lyrically the band seems to be influenced by the likes of Edgar Allan Poe; their twisted imagery pops in and out of their songs based on mostly true stories. The artwork was done by Dave Quiggle (Sick of it All) and the production, as mentioned earlier, is a success.
- Pale Horses Ride
- Through the Smoke Lies a Path
- What We See When We Shut Our Eyes
- Triumph Over Tragedy
- Tales of Sirens
- R.J. MacReady
- Forgotten Amongst Screams
- Vengeance in Departure
- A Road for the Worthy