Behind Crimson Eyes

Behind Crimson Eyes

Written by: TL on 23/03/2009 22:32:51

"A Textbook Tragedy". No, this is in fact NOT a review of that band, however, the words just keep popping up in my mind when I think of the career of the one this is a review of. This being the Aussie once-emo-rockers from Behind Crimson Eyes, who started kicking up dust back in 2005 with a couple of EP's, quickly becoming pretty much the best alternative to bands like Funeral For A Friend or Story Of The Year to come out of down under.

No amount of success goes unpunished though, and soon the band was picked up by the mighty Roadrunner Records and sure enough, soon things began to turn to shit artistically for the band. Their debut album "A Relevation For Despair" was already a good deal worse than the compilation of old stuff which was issued by their old label, and now that the band has just released their self titled sophomore, rock bottom has officially been hit.

It's really a story that is quite similar to that of The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus. BHC started out being straightforward but energetic and catchy emo/screamo/rock but ended up a band that have been looking too long into the playbooks of poodle rock bands like Bon Jovi and Whitesnake, without managing to extract any of what makes either of those bands worth listening to. Effectively, almost all traces of energy, aggression and attitude have been pulled from this new record, making room for boring and predictable songs with overly cheesy lyrics and totally uninspired guitar playing. In the worst of moments, it sounds like something that could've been cooked up by Hoobastank or TRJA (when they were writing for their new record). In the best, it still sounds like something Lostprophets could've pulled off in their sleep, and most people even think those guys are sellouts already.

It is especially painful for an old fan to hear singer Josh Stuart, who once so passionately called for us to "scream out our names to the night", reduced to a guy who sounds like he skipped singing lessons to smoke and do drugs with Wil Francis or Ville Valo. His hazy performance here is flat and weak and it makes the lyrical cheese fest even more annoying to lay ears on. I wouldn't even have been put off by the cheese though, as long as the songs had worked on some level, but while they're pretty easy to remember, the overall impression they leave is rather puny. First single "Fighting For Our Lives" catches on the fastest but is forgotten equally fast, and the only other tracks I'd ever consider putting on again (probably deciding not to) are the power ballad "Stay With Me" and "Heartbreaker", a track reminiscent of recent Escape The Fate material, and the only one on the album that comes near success in the attempted rock'n'roll attitude.

Overall, this is not a total piece of trash, but even in the most positive lighting, the total unseriousness and overall commercialism of it brings it close. You can compare the listening experience to that of Avenged Sevenfold or Blessed By A Broken Heart, except BHC aren't heavy enough to even be considered as metal as those bands, nor do they have the redeeming feature of doing things with tongue in cheek. Considering that I think those two bands already suck, you won't have a hard time guessing what I think of this album:


Download: Fighting For Our Lives, Stay With Me, Heartbreaker,
For The Fans Of: The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, Hoobastank, Lostprophets.

Release Date: 20.03.2009

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