Album Review :
My Heart to Fear - Algorithm

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Band: My Heart to Fear
Album: Algorithm
Label: Solid State Records
Release: 7.9.13
Reviewer: Brody
Tracklisting:

  1. Dust to Dust (Feat. Ricky Armellino)
  2. 414 Days
  3. Angst
  4. The Sneaking Chair
  5. Algorithm
  6. The Witching Hour, Pt II
  7. Wish You Were Here
  8. End Transmission
  9. Bottomed Out (Feat. Josh Hines)
  10. 4th Dimension Opera House
  11. Pack Up, We’re Moving

Over the past year we have seen solid state records investing in young and aspiring artists. Both The Overseer and Wolves at the Gate showed massive progress from their eps to their full lengths. So how does My Heart to Fear fare?

The answer, in a word, is splendidly. “Algorithm” is a fantastic album filled to the brim with numerous ideas, most of which come together to feel like a cohesive and original sounding album; something I felt their last ep lacked.

On “Algorithm” the breakdowns never feel forced. The band earns these moments of deliberate chugging by paving the way with a collage of noodling guitars and bass, tight drums, and great riffage.

Dust to Dust finds the band treading much the same ground as previously covered, paving the way with crunchy distortion and great fills as vocalist Trevor Pool works his range for all it has; truly shining during the chorus as he proclaims, “All our lives we’re told to get a job and be somebody / But does anybody know what that means?”.

Things begin to pick up a bit in 414 Days. In a recent interview with Trevor, he claimed that this would be the song he would first show a new comer going on to say “Because it has all the progressive elements that represent the sound change for this album, but still packs quite a punch compared to a lot of the other songs”. While the song tends to follow a more straightforward song structure with somewhat predictable choruses and such, the ear shredding technicality more than makes up for what originality is lost.

The Sneaking Chair is one of the most unique on the album, as it seamlessly transitions from heavy sections that find vocalist Trevor Pool growling, “In this astrophysical plane I roam/ Searching for the place they call my home/Searching for the God they said would save my soul” with crunchy guitars to hauntingly beautiful piano sections accompanied by spooky crooning. Heck, the song even features clean vocals that bring to mind pop punk as pool proclaims, “I don’t want the world/ And its money/ There’s no fulfillment in looking for /More ways to look past/ The things that matter most”.

The album’s title track, Algorithm, is a progressive metal fan’s dream come true as it weaves in and out of complex guitar runs and chunky breakdowns as Pool simply states, “Anyone can show hatred/ But it takes a man to ignore his instincts/ It takes many men to build a home/ But only a boy and a match to burn it down”.

Bottomed Out follows much the same trend as the title track in that it’s progressive nature sets it apart from other tracks on the album. The almost southern sounding groove after Pool wholeheartedly states, “No amount of pleasure will ever satisfy my soul” gets me bouncing every time.

My Heart to Fear surely saved the best for last with the final two tracks on the record. 4th Dimension Opera House tells the story of a small town that finds a well that houses something very powerful, creates lots of jobs, and causes excitement throughout the whole country. But this good thing turns the town upside-down; soon causing riots and poverty. Pool retrospectively states, “I guess the world before wasn’t so bad after all…”. The best part of the track is simply that the music flows beautifully with the emotions currently taking place in the track, even taking time for a Latin flavoured acoustic interlude.

Pack Up, We’re Moving is probably the heaviest track on the album. This is an absolute mammoth that leaves the listener gasping for breath in the almost jazzy outro that follows the chaos. This song surely has the full band firing on all cylinders as Dale Upright and Jay Graham, the axemen of the band throw out complex riffs while Taylor Pool has his fair share of standout moments on bass as he refuses to simply play background to the rest of the band. Drummer, Luke Brady also does not sit idle and play the stereotypical metalcore drummer, but batters the listener’s ears with a barrage of different beats. The closer also has some of the  frontman’s best on the record too as he shouts, “People ask what happened to music/ It ran away when money tried to rip out its heart/ Yeah, I may only be twenty years old/ But I can proudly say I didn’t sell my soul/ And call it art”.

For as great of tracks as Wish You Were Here and End Transmission are, I felt that they both stretched themselves a little too much to try to reach into progressive territory. The first half of Wish You Were Here is phenomenal, but  it really lost me when things slow down drastically and it feels as though two songs were mashed together. Similarly, I felt that End Transmission, felt like several songs put together to form one. Although a lot of the parts are awesome, the song just lacks any real flow.

Overall: My Heart to Fear have a very bright future ahead of them. “Algorithm” is sure to garner the band some attention with the passion, skill, and unique elements that are presented. With a few minor tweaks here and there that could have made songs feel more fleshed out I would have had a hard time finding fault with this debut record. For what it is however, “Algorithm” is sure to be a surprise record for any who are willing to give it a shot.

RIYL: August Burns Red | This or the Apocalypse | Oh, Sleeper

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