Artist: To Every Cynic
Title: Leaving Your Burdens
Release: Out Now
- Hope In Anguish
- Slow But Strong
- Destiny Versus Future
- Silence, The Killer
- Poison Fruit
Living in the shadows of many great Illinois bands that have paved the way in the music industry, To Every Cynic believe they can start making their way out of the shadows with their debut EP “Leaving Your Burdens.” “Leaving Your Burdens” contains six tracks featuring a lot of breakdowns, digital programing, a mix of clean and screaming vocals, and a lot of double kick.
“Leaving Your Burdens” starts off with it’s introduction track featuring digital strings and a heavy breakdown. Kind of generic for a heavy record but it gets it’s point across. It introduces the listener to what they are in store for in the next five full length tracks. The build up is there and you are ready for a journey for a solid 17 minutes of breakdowns and screams.
I wouldn’t let the sounds of the production fool you. This EP is a good tool for the band to get their feet into a label that can invest time into them but there are quite a bit of falters in it. When the first full song “Hope in Anguish” hits the first thing you notice is the weakness of the clean vocals. There are strong parts through out the EP but for the most part a lot of the parts featuring clean vocals are weak and in dire need of a second take in the studio. Melodies seem to have been rushed on some parts and some little things that pitch correction could have fixed (Don’t be scared of pitch correction, it is not auto-tune). Obviously there is room to grow to be solid. Not every band starts out with solid vocals.
The screams at times are also weak. Not the whole time but when he gets to the highs its almost like listening to Dan Weydant or Jimmy Ryan (Have your opinions, I think they are terrible screamers). His mids are pretty good and really powerful but there are also a few pig squeals that have no place in this genre of music. Just seems like he was going for lows that he doesn’t quite have yet. The advice I give to all screamers is pick up the “Zen of Screaming”. It will help you in the long run.
The drums on this EP are quite good. Obviously you listen and you can hear how kick heavy this drummer is. The double kick is quick and for the most part relevant to the songs. Hands wise I can’t really remember hearing to many tom shots. It could have definitely been the production because the drums were pretty high in tone but for the most part you hear cymbals, snare, and kick. I tend to appreciate quick feet a lot but they are only quick feet if you don’t know how to use your hands and vise versa. That isn’t suppose to sound as harsh as it probably does. It is just something drummers should be aware of.
The songs in themselves have some awesome parts. But also tend to build up and when you are getting ready for the next part to give you chills, everything just drops into nothingness. To give this band credit, they are talented musicians. They have all the tools guitar wise and definitely with the drums but song writing usually takes time to master. The intro to the song “Slow But Strong” starts with a sweet riff into a driven introduction then the driving force in the rhythm drops into a redundant chug part. I know what they were trying to do, trying to make it heavy but it was not the place to do it. Other times on the EP it seems like they try to be too technical with their rhythm parts that it just comes out sloppy.
For being a DIY project, the production on “Leaving Your Burdens” is fairly good. It isn’t the best, more so music heavy then vocal orientated, it is passable especially when it comes to press kits and promotion. The first thing you will notice is the awesome tone of the drums. Though the sound of the drums may be a tad processed, it isn’t to the point where it is annoying. Tone wise the guitars sound really good but could use some help. Overall a pretty decent production.
Overall: When it comes to heavier music, obviously there needs to be a lot of talent and To Every Cynic has it. My only complaints about To Every Cynic’s debut EP “Leaving Your Burdens” are the weakness of the overall vocals and song structure. These are things that can push your band to great heights or make you tear at the seams. Not saying that this EP is awful because it is not. The production and the drums save it quite a bit. There is obviously a lot of room to grow but the talent is definitely there.