Album Review :
Destroy The Runner - Saints

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Band: Destroy The Runner
Title: Saints
Label: Tooth & Nail
Release Date: 10/3/06
Review By: Josh IndieVision


01. Dialogue
02. My Darkness
03. Columbia
04. Saints
05. Thoughts In Reverse
06. The Aleph
07. From The Red
08. Without Sight
09. Separate
10. Sound Of Reason
11. There Can Be Hesitation
12. Pallbearer
13. Resolution


Destroy The Runner came out of absolutely nowhere to most folks. I had just previously heard of the band before the name change and signing to Solid State Records. I had heard that they sounded similar to As I Lay Dying, which didn’t surprise me since they were from the same area, and that’s always a plus in my book. So off I set to find out more about this band and what I found made my day! As I read more and heard snippets I was intrigued. Upon reading the lyrics and hearing about the band I was also glad to see another overtly Christian band, proudly unashamed of their beliefs. We need more like this!

Rarely do bands venture out of their comfort zones and safety net what the fans already know and love. We all know what sells in metalcore; blistering speed, thunderous breakdowns, quick guitar work, and general mayhem. Destroy The Runner has taken those basics and transformed them into something different and dare I say, more enjoyable. Instead of constant pummeling the band opts to continuously mix pop-sensible melodies into the mix. Kyle’s throaty screams are offset by Duane’s more soothing cleanly sung vocals. The guitar work is precise and intricate and at many times work together to harmonize before unleashing earth-shattering rhythms. The song structure and chord progressions are impressive for a debut. The band have mastered their art and have blown me away!

“Dialogue” is an instrumental opener which doesn’t really prepare you for what’s to come, but definitely baits the hook. It builds and builds, layer upon layer, and enthralls your ears. Then comes the setting of the hook. “My Darkness” shows off the band’s harmonizing dual guitar attack. While not being totally brutal, the song is fast and aggressive, and reminiscent of some of As I Lay Dying’s guitar work. The chorus is incredibly catchy is run through quickly and then we see the band’s ferocity with some pummeling rhythm work and chugging guitars. “Saints” comes across more as epic in overall scope, melting the best of both metal and melody together, leaving no seams. Tracks such as “From The Red” (think a catchy August Burns Red) and “Thoughts In Reverse” bring a tougher bite and heaviness to them, while “Without Sight” and “Sound Of Reason” are less brutal, more thought out, and speedy, all the while still keeping their aggressive roots.

Overall Rating: I cannot think of another band, even amongst all the metal that I listen to, that really sound the same. Certainly influences and similarities can be heard but DTR have literally destroyed the mold and will hopefully force others to think differently about metal. The die hard metal enthusiasts will dismiss this album as weak, but I believe it’s just the opposite. In fact, another positive aspect is that they will become a gateway band to other, harder bands (like labelmates Underoath & Haste The Day). Very melodic metal with some serious pop appeal. Not pop as in Britney Spears, but in the sense that the band creates captivating and unforgettable hooks. Most will say the album is overproduced and I can understand, but I feel it had to be done this way. Aggressive, pop-influenced metal, presented amazingly for a debut!

Standout Tracks: “My Darkness”, “Saints”, “Aleph”

Similar To: As I Lay Dying, Unearth, Haste The Day

Solid State

Buy: IVM Store

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