Die Among Heroes - Die Among Heroes
Self-released
Metalcore
8 songs ()
Release year: 2010
Reviewed by Alex

This quick glimpse into the past will provide perfect grounds to judge whether I should be disqualified from writing this review. In 2002, when Dark Tranquillity, Sentenced and In Flames were on the tour of the States (is that an unbelievable ticket or what, the likes of which will probably be never seen together, given that Sentenced is no more, and In Flames is not what it used to be), they had Killswitch Engage going with them as a tourmate. I was devastated Dark Tranqillity and Sentenced were allotted mere half an hour to present their craft going back for almost a decade. At the same time, Massachusetts upstarts were given close to an hour on the strength of two albums. What shocked me even more, while the young audience was rather lukewarm when the masters played, they were all up and moshing when Killswitch Engage took the stage. Such was my first live experience with metalcore, and I have not learned to like the genre since.

Austin, TX Die Among Heroes will not overturn my relationship with metalcore, but they are deserving of your attention and certainly impress with their musicality, preparation and sound quality. Truthfully, when the band stays closer to the more traditional melodic death Gothenburg sound, as in Forgive This Murder, the latter part of In the Event I Don’t Return and after 3 min on Perish What Ignites the Flame, I fell for some good fluid riffs with the dueling guitars on Perish What Ignites the Flame and definitive melody coupled with acoustic sensibility on Forgive This Murder. At the same time the band’s high-powered slamming hardcore will do nothing to disappoint those looking for heaviness in need to start the pit. The beginning of In the Event I Don’t Return certainly does that and bouncy, youthful and urban My Failing Attempts is also an adrenaline injector.

At the same time this Texas band hailing from allegedly the City of the Musicians did not dispel my profound misunderstanding on how to pair cleanly sung sections or screamo-growls with music. Chase Hughes’ rough voice is definitely legible and not some vomity gurgle. His clean singing is emotional and full of feeling, yet not whiny. However, I still need someone to explain to my why the same riffs at the first part of In the Event I Don’t Return call for growls, and then clean vocals enter, while the riffs are pretty much the same. The clean vocals in the bridge of Forgive This Murder coupled with background growl make complete sense, but clean signing opening up Perish What Ignites the Flame does nothing to bolster the song, and clean vocals fit even less with the chug of With All That Has Been Lost (to my ear even sounding somewhat out of tune on this track). To borrow from the culinary perspective, on their own two flavors may taste wonderfully, but mixed together they do lead to a weird combination and a headscratcher from time to time. Instead of organic continuation of one another, the harsh ‘core and clean melodic styles of Die Among Heroes do not quite connect with all of their jigsaw ends, creating the feeling that the band simply wants to have both styles represented, but does not make a good argument why.

The same with Die Among Heroes instrumentals. It could be my copy, but the introductory Sound of Memory is a twisted, stretched out, distorted piece which sounds like a weird accordion. Given the band’s lyrical topics, somebody’s memory wasn’t quite clear sounding this way. Clean Under These Street Lights seemingly lacks purpose, but dreamy acoustic Her Warm Embrace touched me. Finally, My Failing Attempts ends rather deflatingly, mid-way, without an exclamation point. Being the last song on the album, it leaves an incomplete final impression.

If I sounded harsh, I did not quite mean to be so. This band is by far better than a lot of stuff on the Century Media 2009 Carnival of Sounds sampler. If today’s youth finds metalcore to be popular, I’d rather they stick with Die Among Heroes than numerous others. I do wish for the band, however, to meld their sound styles together in a more fluid unison, as the talent and skill is obvious on this self-titled debut.

Killing Songs :
Forgive This Murder
Alex quoted 68 / 100
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