Saturday, 26 January 2013

Before Their Eyes - Redemption


I sit down to this review having read news that these guys are splitting up, so this is very much a posthumous review, although Before Their Eyes are working on one final recording. For those unfamiliar, Before Their Eyes are post-hardcore band from Findlay, Ohio. They have released four albums since their inception in 2007 and have been part of the ever growing InVogue Records/Rise Records roster. With their final record, titled "The Finale", it seems that these guys are taking a darker turn. Redemption was released in March 2012.

Tracklist:-

1. Intro
2. Lies
3. Dream
4. Find
5. Everything
6 Redemption
7. Revenge
8. Revival
9. Surrender
10. Backstabber
11. Faith
12. Alive

After a short but brooding intro, Before Their Eyes launch into Lies with all the gusto of a modern hardcore band, with plenty of melody and a huge volume. The vocals are clean and there's a hint of pesky auto tune, but I guess that's the price you have to pay with this sub-genre. There is the odd scream but it seems that Before Their Eyes are initially holding something back. Dream has a big impact too and it seems to have harder edge, in spite of all the electronic gadgetry that's used in the song. The band are tight, the riffs are good and the song is really catchy. Before Their Eyes are a Christian band, but because I'm not intimate with the bible, I don't really sense much of the righteousness that you get with some bands of that ilk.

One thing I will say in BTE's favour is that they keep things to a point. The songs themselves never go beyond the four-minute mark and the song titles are limited to one syllable. Find is a saccharine sweet, melodic song, which veers from their post-hardcore leanings. It sounds as though they're aiming more for the mainstream rock chart, which is no surprise as they have entered the Billboard Heatseekers charts with their previous records. That said, this is the first song where they also use their heavier side, with both high screams and low growls. Everything is a bonafide chart bother-er, which leans more towards a ballad. Next up is the title track, which is actually the heaviest track that Before Their Eyes have presented so far. It's also the mid-point of the album and heralds a second half with more promise, in the hardcore stakes anyway!

Revenge, despite that auto tune, is a harder hitting song. They use some great angular riffs in the song, which are a pleasant surprise for fans of more forward thinking metal. Revival begins with an intro that sounds like it could be taken from a Fear Factory song! The song itself is just under three-minutes, which pretty much embodies this American post-hardcore style, but feature less clean and more harsh vocals. It’s a stonker! Sometimes albums tend to lose momentum and focus towards their middle/end, but Redemption seems to maintain it throughout, which is a good sign and shows that Before Their Eyes have a strong hold of songwriting and structure. The production on the record is very clean, as you'd expect and helps the musicians to propel their instruments above the technical wizardry that's employed here. Penultimate song Faith features a really catchy melody, which you may end humming constantly, depending on how self-conscious you are.

I'm not talking about each track here, as Before Their Eyes stick to a similar formula throughout Redemption, which to be fair does work for them. They’re very much a modern band, whose songwriting is squarely aimed at the popular end of the market. While this won't be to everyone's tastes, it is one of the better records I've heard in this sub-genre. Overall it’s a really good album.

I've been unable to find a stream of Redemption anywhere, but you'll be able to hear tracks on their Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/beforetheireyesband. You can buy Redemption from InVogue Records here http://invoguerecords.merchnow.com/.

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