Album Review :
The Gentleman Homicide - Understanding The Words We Speak

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Band: The Gentleman Homicide
Title: Understanding The Words We Speak
Label: Blood & Ink
Release Date: 7/11/06
Review By: Josh IndieVision

Tracklisting:

01. Following A Path To Grace
02. Our Faults, Our Failures, Our Lives
03. The Goodbye And The Morning After
04. A Question: A Promise
05. No One Dies Without Deserving Liess
06.
07. Being Torn Apart Through Self Realization
08. Looking Within The Heart Of Man
09. A World Caving In On Itself
10. In Hopes That Day Will Come

Members/Duties:

Josh Barbee: Vocals
Max Vinson: Guitar
Adam Thron: Guitar
Josh Jackson: Bass
Matt Jameson: Drums

The Gentleman Homicide formed in early 2003 in Amarillo, Texas. They are a five piece band that has combined multiple influences into a formidable whole. They have done multiple tours including national ones as an independent group. This is their debut for Blood & Ink and shows definite potential for this “new” band.

TGH brings an intense amalgamation of styles in this album. Almost far too many to even list. At first this put me off and hindered my liking of the band but I really wanted to sit down and listen straight through. Once I did I began to enjoy it more. TGH utilizes many off beat time signatures and quick stops and starts to conduct their musical onslaught. Chugging breakdowns are scattered through and tie in the discordant riffs. They will be lumped in with tech-metal bands but they really are not nearly as spastic as many of those bands. The music is ferocious, yet provides breaks throughout with jazz, indie, and even electronic interludes.

“The Goodbye And The Morning After” begins off with higher pitched guitar strumming, which like everything else on the album, does not last long. The low end kicks back in and takes you for a ride. I find myself having to cut down descriptions of the tracks because each one could take multiple paragraphs with all of the switches you will find. “A Question: A Promise” pummels your chest with extreme bass pedal work right off the bat. A thick and ferocious breakdown is placed about 25 seconds in which then immediately and without warning gives way to sections of undistorted guitar picking, which themselves are disrupted discordant guitar work.

The sixth track is an untitled instrumental which thankfully allows your ears a break for just under two minutes. “Being Torn Apart Through Self Realization” follows up and once again picks up the attack on your hearing. Starting a riff, taking me back to Training For Utopia’s early years, the band then moves directly into two speeds of breakdowns. The first is a typical metalcore one and is quickly followed by a brutal and deep metallic one. Then an electronic interlude follows. The track finishes up with dare I say “pretty” guitar outro.

Standout Tracks:

“Our Faults, Our Failures, Our Lives”, “A Question: A Promise”, “Looking Within The Heart Of Man”

Overall Rating: This album took me a few attempts to sit down and listen through it. I think it’s because it really doesn’t have any of the catchiness that draws you in. It is straightforward and brutal. I did enjoy the album once I finally sat down through it. There is definitely potential here and I would like to see a bit more polished song structures and tones in a following release. I would recommend this to anyone looking to branch out from the oversatured European influenced metalcore out there right now.

Individual Ratings:

Album Art/Design: I really liked the layout of this release. It is set up like an old war letter sent home to a loved one. Includes old black & white pictures.

Lyrics: The lyrics bring darkness, hope, and many directly speaking to their faith. A thank you to God (“Following A Path To Grace”), ignorance (“Being Torn Apart By Self Realization”), and a praise & worship like anthem (“In Hopes That Day Will Come”) are some of the topics covered therein. All lyrics are included.

Marketability: The ability to present a different sound than what’s very popular right now will both hinder and help TGH. They don’t bring the European death metal vibe but it’s a nice change of pace from all of that.

Production: The production is decent for this album. There are a few minor things that could probably be done better but overall it’s pretty well mixed.

Vocals: Vocal range is pretty limited. Josh does have the ability to go deep and gutteral when called upon which is a nice added bonus. Honestly with his normal vocals, I’m not sure how he hasn’t shredded his throat up yet.

Similar To: Dillinger Escape Plan, Between The Buried And Me, Training For Utopia

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