Breaking The Fourth Wall

Manifesto EP

Written by: PP on 14/06/2009 17:42:04

In classic drama theater, the fourth wall refers to the imaginary wall between the actors and the audience. Whenever an actor speaks directly to the audience, the phrase Breaking The Fourth Wall is used to describe the interaction of the actor and the crowd. I don't suppose it's a coincidence that this Christian metalcore outfit has chosen that name for their band since on their Myspace page they make a point about trying to speak (or preach?) to the listener through their music and their EP is called "Manifesto". Quite clever indeed.

BTFW (do we have enough of the four-letter abbreviations yet?) blends together the general chaos of the latest Converge record, some of the abrasive, uncompromising metalcore of Zao and the first As I Lay Dying album, and the desperation-filled clean vocals and bleak atmosphere of The Psyke Project. Sounds like a pretty good mix, eh? That's because it is. For every layered barrage of riffs and caustic scream, this band delivers an aggressive expression that feels claustrophobic at best, utterly chaotic at worst, and even at its worst it's still very good. Much of this is owed to the deranged scream of their vocalist who sounds just like the type of dude who you'd see crawling, rolling and destroying everything in sight while performing. Anyone who has ever seen Norma Jean will know precisely what I'm talking about. Occasionally the band breaks into somewhat more quiet, experimental passages where references to Fear Before The March Of Flames' "The Always Open Mouth" are appropriate. Especially the finishing track on the EP "The City's No Place For A Cowboy" fits this category.

Even though such passages offer some variation to the record, BTFW are still at their best when it comes to the harsh metalcore tracks. Opener "You Were Really Pretty Until You Opened Your Mouth" is probably their best track, as it sounds like it could've come off of "Beneath The Encasing Of Ashes" except it has some pretty cool clean vocals added to the mix. BTFW might sound a lot like Zao throughout the record, but when they deliver the goods this well, I don't see this as a problem at all. The record's good for what it is, abrasive, original metalcore with some carefully placed melancholic melody injections. Why this band is still unsigned is beyond me.

Download: You Were Really Pretty Until You Opened Your Mouth
For the fans of: Zao, first As I Lay Dying record, The Psyke Project, Converge
Listen: Myspace

Release date 01.03.2009

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