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Eyes Of The Living - War On Dead - More Dead

Eyes Of The Living
War On Dead - More Dead
by V. Srikar at 18 March 2019, 2:31 AM

After abandoning their original project / band in ABOLISH after making their 2nd album in 1998, which they never released, the lads, went their own way and became part of different groups. Fast forward to 2016, they formed another Thrash Metal band EYES OF THE LIVING with the lyrical theme of about a man’s battle with himself when he becomes infected during the zombie apocalypse. A year later they released their debut album, and this March, they are releasing their 2nd full length album “War On Dead - More Dead”, and it promises to be a cracker.

The apocalypse starts with “Count the Days”, with sharp platonic riffs followed by pounding head crushing riffs. The vocals are thick, loud and in-your-face, and the music as a whole is very groovy and catchy, especially on multiple listens. The ‘zombie’ theme is felt all over the lyrics and also the eerie mid-tempo tempo-building parts in the middle. “Run for your Life” starts off in a chaotic mayhem style, but there is order restored with really cool riffs and Hardcore-Punk-ish screaming vocals. But the song spoils itself by trying too hard with over-the-top sound effects and unimpressive guitar solos, which do not fit the song. “Infected” is much more impressive with its precision sharp riffs and tight lyrics, but the gang vocals in the middle are pretty average. “Hell on Earth” has really cool groovy riffs, but the song as a whole sounds too generic towards the middle and the rest of the song, and the gang vocals doesn’t save the song either. “Interlude – Aftermath” is a 90 second hypnotic calming atmospheric music, that does have tension building in it slowly, but the unique keyboard work adds beauty to it. “Chemical Bath” brings in much more Punk-ish feel to the music amidst the chaotic Thrash, which sort of works here, but doesn’t feel at home for me on repeated listening. “Stench of Death” has some really cool ACCEPT-ish riffs, but there still feels a lack of unified style or power lacking here in the music, and part of me feels that the over reliance on the melodic parts in songs like this one, may be the cause, despite the unique zombie sounds that you are made to hear in parts of many songs like this one.  “Pull the Trigger” doesn’t seem to fit in the middle of the album, and with the over emphasis on melody, the band has once again salted a potential great song, albeit the cool heavy riffs and solos.

In the 1 min instrumental “Interlude - They Got Rick“, the 2nd part of the song of the same name, carries on the audio version of the story of the album, with the characters trying to survive the zombie apocalypse, and honestly its actually quite impressive. “I am Alone” has lots of cool sounds, which are outside the norm of Metal music, but you can influences of bands like CHILDREN OF BODOM and other melodic Death and Thrash Metal bands all over here. It sounds like a perfect song for the band’s live shows to generate circle pits and mosh pits. The title track “War on Dead” carries the story on its shoulders, and its easy to feel that the music itself has taken a backseat here, even though it is impressive here. The vocals and lyrics are strong and inspiring and its fair to say this is one of the more impressive songs here musically. “What is Left for the Dead” is much more Hardcore-Punk-ish, and its not bad until the monotonous melodic parts come round about in the middle of the song. This is one of those ‘perfect-for-live-shows’ songs. I honestly don’t understand what the lads are trying to do in “Survival”. Its chaos and the poorly made low-tempo melodic parts sprinkled in the middle, which are far from being impressive, despite the song’s cool Punkish feel to it. “Dawn” starts off in a clean instrument driven low tempo calm sound, before the tempo builds up in the middle and elevates towards the end. It reminded me of the cult-ish “Nothing Else Matters”, of course, just not in the same league. “Outro –Contamination” sounds like a 90 seconds instrumental outro to a movie, behind the credits, than as the last song of a Metal album in 2019, but its all good, no damage done here.

I love Zombie themed movies and video games. But like my pet peeve with the movies and games of the genre/theme, this record falls short of my expectations and feels like a lost opportunity with a cool theme and lyrics. In fact, I totally loved the album the 1st time that I listened to it, but the 2nd time jamming of this follow up album by these Philadelphian Thrash quartet feels like the attempt has fallen short of being impressive. Pick this one, only if you are patient enough to wait for the good parts.

Production: 8
Songwriting: 6
Originality: 8
Memorability: 5

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Count the Days
2. Run for your Life
3. Infected
4. Hell on Earth
5. Interlude - Aftermath
6. Chemical Bath
7. Stench of Death
8. Pull the Trigger
9. Interlude - They Got Rick
10. I am Alone
11. War on Dead
12. What is Left for the Dead
13. Survival
14. Dawn
15. Outro - Contamination
Lineup:
Chris Moore - Bass
Cliff Fritts - Drums
Mike Straiton - Lead Guitar
Tim Swisher - Vocals, Guitars
Record Label: Pavement Entertainment
     


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Edited 29 November 2022
 

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