The Eyes Of A Traitor

Breathless

Written by: AP on 13/11/2010 19:04:03

The Eyes of a Traitor is a name oft-mentioned, yet it has taken me four years to stumble upon their music, and chances are that had the band's sophomore album "Breathless" not been sent to us as a promotional copy, I would never even have thought to give it a spin. This is because the true nature of the Eyes' music has somehow managed to elude me, leading me to falsely presume they were but another crusty hardcore outfit. What The Eyes of a Traitor are really working with, however, is the latest fashion in metalcore: stripped down, technical and neon-free.

"The Birth" and its segue "Prologue" are a bit misleading, exposing the band at their most hardcore-truist (sounding, in fact, like Bury Your Dead), but through a meticulously executed series of signature shifts the songlet gradually reveals hints of another influence, the cursive This Or the Apocalypse, and sets the premise for the remainder of the album. Beginning with "Come to My Senses", the true nature of the beast veers between chunky grooves, dizzying neck snappers and monumental melodies curated by Jack Delany's enraged vocals. Despite the predominant melodic disposition, clean infusions are kept at a bare minimum - not as a regular feature - keeping the dreary feeling of here we go again at bay. As such, these Harpenders maneuver in a shared sea with their countrymen Architects and While She Sleeps, which is to say that their brand of metalcore is the antithesis of the image conscious gloss most of their peers are busy pushing. So far so good.

Much time has been spent elsewhere on the net, however, decrying the musical dumbing down that has allegedly taken place between debut album "A Clear Perception" - which was a more mathematic, albeit much less tight proposition in the vein of Eternal Lord - and this one, which appears to be a recurring trend in the metalcore genre (listen to the difference in terms of pure technicality, from Bring Me the Horizon's debut offerings to their more recent works, for instance). But in the case of The Eyes of a Traitor, leaving their former overindulgences behind was a wise choice; one which saw their songs become fuller, richer and much more comprehensible. Sure it's nice to be baffling sometimes, but structure and coherence are equally important in writing good songs, and this is truly a notion that the Eyes have taken to heart in compiling "Breathless". Where it lacks in guitar serpents, it makes up with a sense of style.

I suppose I should throw in some highlights to facilitate your decision-making, and while overall the album maintains a solid pretty goodness, songs like "Come to My Senses", "Your Old Ways", "Talk of the Town" and "Nothing to Offer" manage to take the formula to near-perfection and are, in my opinion, excellent examples of what modern metalcore needs to sound like in order to have some integrity. The grand conclusion is that The Eyes of a Traitor represents the finer end of British scene music, and should be mouthwatering stuff for fans of Architects and While She Sleeps.

Download: Come to My Senses, Your Old Ways, Talk of the Town, Nothing to Offer
For the fans of: Architects, August Burns Red, Haste the Day, While She Sleeps
Listen: Myspace

Release date 12.07.2010
Listenable Records

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