Behind Crimson Eyes

A Revelation For Despair

Written by: TL on 20/12/2006 00:33:39

After having listened quite a lot to the first two EP's released by Victorian emo/screamo outfit Behind Crimson Eyes, I must admit that what the album I'm about to review sounds like, took me completely by surprise. From the bands old sound you'd be most likely to expect them to release an album more than a little resembling The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus's "Don't You Fake It", filled with catchy as fuck, pop-sensible emo anthems, along the lines of old songs like "The Art Of War" and "Game Of Life".

"A Revelation For Despair" is NOTHING like that little prophecy though. Where the old material was so clear in its expression that you'd have to have lived under a rock for the past twenty years not to label it as emo, the debut full length is more of a cocktail of elements ranging from poppunk over screamo to hard rock and metal. What's gonna be your initial clue about the changes however, is the vastly different vocal style. Where frontman Josh Stuart used to sound like the regular much-loved bittersweet emo-cliché-type, there's now an attitude to his delivery, that makes you question if he is actually doing some sort of self concious "pose" or parody of his own genre. It's much like what happened on From First To Last's "Dear Diary, My Teenage Angst Has A Bodycount", claimed by many to be a fantastic screamo record, but admitted by the band to be nothing more than a sarcastic comment to a scene they we're more than a little tired with.

Song by song, there seems to be enough arguments for both cases. As an example, songs like the plain ridiculous single "Shakedown" and "White China Doll" make me hope they're jokes, because of the way their clean, catchy choruses simply contradict the more dirty style that characterizes the album as a whole. The less crowdpleasing but vastly more attitude- and quality-filled "You've Had Your Chance", "My Crime Against Humanity", and "The Bonesmen" and the almost entirely screamed out "The Underworld" unite to save the overall impression though.

To sum up the bands debut, it is indeed an album that sees them on a stronger stage seen from an artistical point, and in terms of the diversity of the elements they use in their sound. You can say that their sound is more interesting and unique than on their EPs, but this doesn't make up for the single and striking setback of this record. The songs are suffering. They are not flat out bad, some of them are actually quite good, but none of them are of the kind that will take permanent residence in your mind. This leaves it open for discussion, if the style change really is that positive, considering how old songs outshine the new ones, despite the obvious clichés.


Download: My Crime Against Humanity, You've Had Your Chance, The Bonesmen
For the fans of: Lovehatehero, From First To Last
Listen: MySpace

Release Date 17.11.2006
Roadrunner Records

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