Album Review :
Day of Vengeance - He Who Has Ears

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Band: Day of Vengeance
Title: He Who Has Ears
Label: Red Cord Records
Release Date: November 23, 2010
Review By: Steve
Track Listing:
1. Horseback Riding In Arabia
2. Call Me Disaster
3. He Who Has Ears
4. Let Him Hear
5. Taklimakan (You Can Go In But You Can’t Come Out)
6. I’m Used To Melee Combat
7. Go Back To Thailand
8. Jeremiah’s Beard
9. Show Us Your Mercy
10. How Sweet The Sound

Holy guitars, Batman!  This album is so guitar heavy it is insane!  Day of Vengeance is releasing their first full-length and second release on the new, impressive label Red Cord Records.  This five-piece melodic metalcore band out of Bradenton, Florida has put out a real gem.  They released a self-titled EP through RCR earlier this year that was good but it was nothing to write home about, but He Who Has Ears is something special.

The first thing I noticed on He Who Has Ears is the production quality over their EP.  It is night and day.  Secondly, like I mentioned above guitars, guitars, guitars!  Man I love the guitar work on this album!  In “He Who Has Ears”, you get some southern rock riffs and then you get more of the odd time signature riffs in tracks like “Jeremiah’s Beard.”  They did a great job of mixing up the style throughout the album.  Nevertheless, I cannot just talk about the guitars and leave out the aggressive, in your face double bass!  If you like, double bass and blast beats then you will not be disappointed.  DoV has some good musicians, and I am glad to see that the production of this album does not overlook that.  Many times, you get the music drowning out the vocals or vice versa. DoV is a band that you will not be able to stand still while listening live or on CD.  This is an overall aggressive natured album that you will definitely want to start banging your head and ultimately start breaking stuff. I listened a few times at work through my iPod and I had the sudden urge to throw my monitor out our 14th floor office window, but I thought maybe that might look inappropriate and get me fired.

The vocals on the album are pretty stinkin’ good.  Lead vocalist Ben Greene has a great deep scream that sounds really nasty. I could not find any point in the album where it sounded like he was stressing or pushing his voice to a place it has not point being.  Guitarist Josiah Hughes kicks in with the clean vocals, and I have to admit they took me by surprise.  His vocal style is really hard to explain. The best I can explain it would be British sounding.  I am sure there will be those that do not like the clean vocals, but being someone that hates most clean vocals, I really enjoyed these.  I liked that they were different.  Josiah’s vocals are best displayed in the last track “How Sweet The Sound” where the old hymn “Amazing Grace” is sung with some accompanied screams.  I cannot forget the screaming!  The screaming is very good. All in all the vocals are very tight on this album.

The lyrics in He Who Has Ears are overtly Christian.  With themes such as turning back to God in “Let Him Hear,” God’s redemption in “How Sweet The Sound,” and some cool lyrics about King David and Saul with the main theme being about David’s meekness that gave him strength and not physical attributes and vanity. Josiah sings, “let all who wish to become king see that it’s the meek that will be strong / if it’s your own praises that you sing, your reign shall not last long.”

This album is filled with excellent tracks but two really stood out to me. “He Who Has Ears” because of the fast and aggressive southern rock riffs, and “How Sweet The Sound” is great with the singing/screaming combo of “Amazing Grace” at the end of the track.  However, there are so many good tracks on this album that everyone will have several favorite tracks of this album.

Overall: every melodic metalcore fan needs to own this album!  Day of Vengeance has put out an aggressive album that will make you want to break stuff!  If you like in your face metalcore mixed with in your face Christian themed lyrics than this is the album for you.

RIYL: Inhale Exhale, Demon Hunter, The Showdown, Righteous Vendetta, Haste the Day, Killswitch Engage