Weekly Heavy Album: Watchers Of Rule

Unearth-Watchers of Rule

It’s been a slow week for metal music, so I’ll focus on an album I didn’t cover last week (mostly because it wasn’t easy to find an online stream of it).

Unearth is a veteran metalcore band that just released their sixth (that’s right, sixth) album, Watchers Of Rule, so there are usually two outcomes that will happen this late in the game. They’ll either change their sound as the genre progresses or stick with the sound they’ve already established. Thankfully, Watchers Of Rule does the latter.

Unearth has always blended metal and hardcore element quite well to produce a crushingly fast sound and this album is no different despite being on a new label. Once Intro ends, strap on your seat belt, and get ready for fast paced instruments, breakdown and guitar solos (something too often neglected in the genre). It’s this balance that keeps Watchers Of Rule from falling into the trap of too many breakdowns and getting monotonous. The instrumental parts are what Unearth does best, and they’ll make you want to start a mosh pit wherever you are.

Trevor Phipps seems to have slightly lower vocals, which makes the overall album sound heavier by complementing the instruments. That’s not to say Phipps still doesn’t sound distinct, but he sounds much better when his voice isn’t as raspy as it was in The March.

The only problem is the the album is pretty short. There are only 10 songs (Intro doesn’t count). It’s a minor complaint, but 10 songs is the bare minimum amount before feeling like a rip-off. Supposedly being left wanting more could be good spin, especially with songs like The Swarm, but as a product, wanting more generally isn’t a good thing.

Since Unearth hasn’t drastically changed their sound, Watchers Of Rule won’t change anyone’s mind about them, but considering how they’ve nailed the balance of metal and core a long time ago, there’s no reason to fix something that’s not broken. Whether you lean more toward metal or hardcore music, Unearth will have something for everyone.

 

Underappreciated Hardcore Band of the Week: My Heart To Fear

My Heart To Fear is a Christian metalcore band from Williamsport, Pennsylvania, as well as the the band that inspired this weekly article. They’ve released two albums, Into the Maelstorm and Algorithm and are currently signed to Solid State Records.

Very few bands have the ability to make me fall in love with their music instantly the way My Heart To Fear did. For most bands, I’ll lose interest quickly, unless they grow on me over time. However, after hearing, what I still think is their best song, 4th Dimensional Opera House, they quickly became a favorite of mine for the past year. It’s definitely accurate to say they’re a band that sticks out in a stale genre.

The first thing that stands out about My Heart To Fear might be their most dividing element. I’m talking about the vocals. I can understand if someone doesn’t like them because Trevor Pool does have an interesting vocal style, to say the least. Instead of trying to sound as heavy as possible, which he can do if Pack Up, We’re Moving is any indication, Pool’s screams are meant to be understood. This results in style that distinguishes him apart from every other band.

The second part of My Heart To Fear that stands out are the instruments and how they’re composed in their songs. Everything from the guitars, bass and drums are outstanding. However, what sets them from other talented bands is how they make them stand out. The guitars will usually be tapped quickly, but My Heart To Fear isn’t afraid of throwing a bass solo into a few songs. They also understand how to incorporate slow parts into songs, so the quick and heavy parts can be truly appreciated.

As far as they’re lyrics are considered, it”s more appropriate to call it poetry. They do have a Christian theme in their songs (worry not because songs like Angst and Blood Money do criticize some aspects of churches), but almost every song is thought provoking and brimming with passion and emotion. It’s an incredibly difficult to strike a balance of being heavily critical with just enough hope to keep the average person from being turned off. It’s safe to say My Heart To Fear is in the highest tier of metal song writers.

My Heart To Fear deserves way more recognition than what they currently have. Give them a like on their Facebook to help support them. I await with bated breath until I can see them in concert.

Weekly Heavy Album: No Home

No Home - For All I Am

It’s been an incredible week for metalcore. There were two albums that were released this week from two bands I absolutely adore. But I’m a very subjective blogger, so I’m giving the edge and writing (most of) the article about No Home by For All I Am. This is their first album with InVogue Records,which is streaming the album on YouTube, but For All I Am continues to outdo themselves.

This is their second full-length album and apart from being one of nicest bands I’ve had the pleasure to speak with at a concert, I would be lying if I said I wasn’t worried. I held their previous album, Skinwalker, in such high regard, so I was worried the transition to the new label might mean a disappointing album. I’m happy to say my doubts were entirely unjustified and For All I Am continues to impress.

No Home combines melodic choruses with thrashy guitars and crushing  breakdowns, but For All I Am diversifies their sound in each song. Tunnel Vision and Six Souls are quick and heavy, while Young Grave and Inward show the band’s softer side for lengthy period of time. Wake Me Up and Out Of Line have more of a traditional metalcore sound. Even Black Sheep has  (dare I say it) hip-hop elements in it. If I had to pick a favorite, it would be Slip-Up, but the every song on the album stands out in some way.

As a whole, No Home is a step in the right direction. It’s refreshing to hear For All I Am experiment with their sound and improve lyrically. I can only hope they decide to visit San Diego (or Sacramento if school is on break) sometime soon. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to purchase a copy of this album.

P.S. The other album that’s definitely worth your time is Slave To Nothing by Fit For A King.