Album Review :
Before Their Eyes - The Dawn of My Death

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Artist: Before Their Eyes
Album: The Dawn of My Death
Label: Rise Records
Release Date: October 28, 2008
Reviewer: Scott L

1. Life Was All A Dream
2. Because 7 Ate 9
3. The Beast Within
4. So In Love
5. The Things We Stood Against
6. Dawn Of My Death
7. The Way We Operate
8. Their Throats Are Open Graves
9. New Kids In Town
10. The Me I Used To Be

This was an album that I was looking forward to. I had stumbled across Before Their Eyes’ self-titled debut online but while it was good enough to draw me back periodically to listen to samples, it just didn’t have what was needed for me to actually throw down some cash for it. Financial reservations aside, I could tell that these guys just needed a little time to refine their sound and they could put out a really good album. So when rumors of a sophomore release started drifting around in the ether, they caught my attention. And sure enough, The Dawn of My Death hit the spot. It’s not the perfect album by any means, and things can get a little repetitive, but it’s an upgrade in every way over their debut. Which as I mentioned, wasn’t a bad album… just rough around the edges. Particularly in some of the vocal work.

But, as they say, that was then and this is now. So… The Dawn of My Death. Style-wise, these guys can be a little tough to pin down. At the risk of coining a term, I’d probably have to say that they lean toward post-screamo. Possibly even melodic post-screamo. Crunchy guitar. Catchy hooks and plenty of the staple metal ingredient “chugga.” Chunky bass lines. Big drums, although I think they could have mixed the kick a little deeper. Crisp soaring vocals that break like a wave over a rocky coastline and then pull you back into the tide with growling intensity. I know that Secret & Whisper is garnering some passionate posting a couple of reviews over, but I would hazard the opinion that if you like Secret & Whisper’s style, but wish that the pendulum swung a little wider… i.e. a bit more poppy on the high end and a bit more menacing on the low end… than you should feel right at home with this five-piece out of Ohio.

Stand out tracks for me were “Because 7 Ate 9”, which was a great follow up to the stand out track on their self-titled debut, “Why 6 Is Afraid of 7”, and then “The Things We Stood Against”. The vocal effects are a little too noticeable in places on the latter, but the song is all old school anthem metal with a sweet guitar solo. Yeah, buddy!

My least favorite track was “New Kids In Town”. Before Their Eyes may be the first band approached by Velveeta for sponsorship. Wow, 80’s hair band rock is back in spades. It’s lyrical dynamite, “All you people in the back gotta get to the front / we’re lightin’ up the stage so get up, get up / we’re not just here to fake it / we’re gonna rock you and make you shake it”

I was having flashbacks to my teen years listening to Helix. But the next song gets things back on track and wraps up the album on a positive note. Lyrically, Before Their Eyes isn’t afraid to bring their spirituality to the table. Aside from the aforementioned exception, most of the songs on this disc come across as very introspective and sincere. The struggles of the common man are there. The pain isn’t whitewashed over. And, while maybe not as pointed as some would like, the lyrics direct the listener to God as our hope in trying times. Kudos for that.

Overall, The Dawn of My Death is a really good release and well worth your hard-earned cash. Maybe not quite running at full steam yet, but a vast improvement over a quality first release and another step toward sonic bliss.

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