Album Review :
Before Their Eyes - Untouchable

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Band: Before Their Eyes

Title: Untouchable

Label: Rise Records

Release Date: March 9, 2010

Review By: Scott L

Tracklisting:

  1. Hey Dude!
  2. Sing To Me
  3. Not Alone
  4. Love Is Misery
  5. My Match, Your Fire
  6. Start With Today
  7. Bulletproof
  8. Finding A Way
  9. Rick vs. Nick
  10. Hell Or High Water
  11. Start With Today (Acoustic)

Like opening a well-shaken soda bottle, Before Their Eyes explodes out of the gate with their trademark mixture of poise and ferocity. The maturity and experience is evident from start to finish, as it should be on a band’s third full-length studio release. Now some long-time fans may take issue with the fact that this release continues the progression from the more straight-up, in your face metalcore sound of their self-titled debut to a more widely accessible brand of pop-infused rock, but I for one am loving it. And never fear, they haven’t thrown the edge out completely. Whereas the first two releases could be viewed overall as heavier stylistically, this release majors on the melodic but still changes things up. Take that as you will, I thought it made for a great CD.

For the uninitiated, Before Their Eyes is, currently, a 4-piece (more on that in a minute) out of Findlay, Ohio that plays what can best be described as simply pop-core. The growls are kept to a minimum this time out and the ear-friendly vocal harmonies soar to new heights. Good comparisons would be Alesana, A Skylit Drive, and Glamour Of The Kill. They still mix it up here and there, but on this new release the tracks are either/or. While “Hell Or High Water” swaps things out a bit, there’s not many grey areas to speak of. Either it’s heavy and screamy or it’s light and poppy. Typically, the latter.

Sonically, production is top notch. Everything comes through crisp and precise. Since it was a digital download I didn’t get a look at the packaging, but Rise Records is usually pretty good in that department so I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt. Although I did find the cover art a bit underwhelming. From a cross to a neon skull to a heart. Maybe there’s a deeper meaning in all of this that I’m missing. Maybe they’re trying to connect with the female audience a little more. But I think that any girl that buys a CD is gonna do so more because she digs the music rather than because the CD jacket matches her Hello Kitty heart bracelet. Anyway, cover lame… music sweet… and that’s all that really matters anyway.

Lyrically, Before Their Eyes never strays to far from the party line. Relationships and heartbreak lead the list of topics covered. Nothing much in the lyrics that’s overtly spiritual. The messages are generally upbeat and encouraging, but can also delve into life’s darker moments from time to time. Consider the song “Love Is Misery” which says, “I took a chance on love today / we’ll be the ones to beat the game / even though we’re miles apart / together beating hearts couldn’t end up that way / but I am young / the one to blame / but now I’m tired / I’m so ashamed / I was thinking to myself / how could we have made such a classic mistake / give it up, give it up, it’s over / broken down ‘cause we’re miles from sea to sea / I’ve had enough, had enough, I told her / so it’s over / love is misery”. Or “Rick vs Nick” which says, “we’ve reached the crossroads / of what makes truth and lies / no more time will pass by / we need to draw the line / all the things you did / they left me so betrayed / the words you never said / now begin to fade away / you have a way of hiding everything in your life / I can’t feel the way that I used to / you’re not the person I once knew / it’s not too late to escape this fate / tell me what your secret is / out of time / when your life was on the line / when you start to see the signs / don’t let go / just let your wings unfold”.

It should be noted, as I mentioned earlier, that after the CD was released, the band parted ways with singer Nick Moore. The statement on the band’s MySpace says, “It is with the best intentions that we must announce Before Their Eyes will be moving on without Nick Moore as lead singer. Nick has been an integral part of this band since the beginning and we have nothing but the highest respect for him as a musician, songwriter, and friend. Simply put, we’re at different points in our lives and together agreed it best to move forward and pursue our projects separately”.

Nick’s personal MySpace includes his take on the split, “I did not quit or leave Before Their Eyes because I wanted to. If I could I would keep going with Before Their Eyes. I’ve had so many people say well it’s your band that you started why don’t you do it? When the entire BTE team does not think I am fit for the band anymore, it’s a lot easier to just go with the flow and move on. I love the guys, I know they want to do music for the rest of their lives and BTE is their best shot at that. I am not going to take that away from them. I still and always will consider them my best friends and that is more important to me than BTE itself”.

I’ve liked Before Their Eyes from the beginning and have enjoyed the progression and refinement that have come with each album. And while it’s never pleasant to see a band you like go through line-up changes, particularly in the vocal department… looking at it from the bright side, I guess it all just means that I’ll be looking for two new CDs next year instead of one.

The standout track on the CD was “Sing To Me”. I know… I went soft. So sue me. Call me a fanboy if you like, I can take it. All I know is that catchy is catchy, and that song’s catchy and then some. My runner up was “Bulletproof” which is more your classic Before Their Eyes sound. There, happy?

Overall: Before Their Eyes’ new release “Untouchable” is crunchy on the outside and creamy on the inside. It’s heavy in places and soft in places. But altogether, it’s a very enjoyable CD. And, hey, anytime my 17-year-old brother-in-law’s in my car and exclaims, “Dude! I’ve totally gotta get this CD!”… well, that’s a good sign in my book.

www.myspace.com/beforetheireyes

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