To their credit, Canadian melodic death thrashers, THINE EYES BLEED have never been one to let their lineage speak for them. By now, I'm sure we all know that guitarist Jeff Phillips spent time in KITTIE and bassist Johnny Araya's fruit sprung from the same loins as that of another bass player named Tom, whom I'm sure you've all heard of (do I really need to elaborate?). But, aside from joining one or more of their connections on the occasional tour package, THINE EYES BLEED is a band that lets their music do the talking.And talk it did, with their debut, "In The Wake Of Separation" proving the quintet to be capable of writing some solid examples of complex and hard-hitting death-addled thrash. Nothing mind-blowing or genre-defining, but still a respectable effort nonetheless. In regards to their newest effort, THINE EYES BLEED has shown that consistency is one of their strong suits. While they have definitely upped the ante in terms of aggression and testicular fortitude, their self-titled sophomore album hasn't really seen the band take any giant leaps towards being the "next big thing" in today's metal scene. That's not to say that this isn't a good album, as each one of these ten tracks is an exercise in intricate and intelligently ferocious songwriting. Songs like "With Burning Breath" and "Crimson" bring together bits of both American and Swedish melodic death with a good helping of old-school thrash for good measure. Not exactly an unheard of combo, but THINE EYES BLEED pull it off well and avoid any dreaded "metalcore-isms" in the process, although a bit of that can be heard on "Revert To Stone". Stepping outside their comfort zone a bit, "Truth In Evil" takes a decidedly darker path, while still retaining the razor sharp edge the rest of the songs offer. In fact, save for the acoustic interlude "Mota Diablo", the entire album is pretty fucking relentless. My only real gripes about this disc are the lack of tunes that stand out as what could be considered future classics and vocalist Justin Wolfe's newly adopted Randy Blythe-esque mannerisms. The guy has got a killer voice and has proved it on both albums, but there are some moments where he tends to follow the proverbial herd. Going back to what I said earlier, you have to respect THINE EYES BLEED for carving their own niche in this mad-capped world of metal. While I'm sure they could pull of a SLAYER cover with the best of 'em or even coax the elder Araya brother into lending his vocals for a cheap pop, they seem to prefer to distance themselves from anything but hard-earned recognition. I don't think anyone can argue that this is a very good band, and if they were to stay the course they're on, there is no doubt that they'll evolve into a great one.
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