The Eyes of a Traitor: Breathless

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The Eyes of a Traitor: Breathless
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The Eyes of a Traitor: Breathless
Melodic Death Metal, Metalcore
Listenable Records
February 8th, 2011
Release length: 38:12
Myspace

The Eyes of a Traitor is a moderately new band on the Melodic Death Metal/Metalcore scene. Hailing from the UK, the group formed back in 2006, and issued their debut album, A Clear Perception, in 2009. As the band continued to grow and mature, fans quickly found them leaving behind some of their Melodic Death Metal traits in favor of a more Metalcore sound overall. This continues to happen with the release of Breathless, an album that take more “core” into perspective then melody. Of course, this isn’t really a bad thing, but it definitely does leave room for improvement.

Right from the start, it’s obvious of the new direction the band has taken. While the more righteous march-like “Prologue” doesn’t do much to set up the release, it’s the following track, “The Birth”, that shows a little confusion in the band as to what they want to play. The music can sometimes show some great Melodic Death Metal hooks and intensity, but for the most part, it shows off a strong Metalcore influence that comes off a little generic. “Come to My Senses” is a little better, focusing a little more on the Melodic aspects then anything, but the Metalcore presence here is still as strong as “The Birth”, but it all seems to work together well through the track. Of course, the chorus ushers in some clean singing, and the tone of the vocals matches the music nicely to create a somewhat melancholic harmonization that becomes quite enjoyable, though the latter clean vocal section really just doesn’t work out as well and can be taken as a bit whiny.

It’s at this point the album starts to become a little more typical for Metalcore efforts, but not necessarily always following the pattern of “scream the verse, sing the chorus”. The screaming is nothing all that fantastic, but the clean vocals are often low and sometimes soothing, similar to the approach used in the band Sybreed. As the release carries on, the music seems to become a little stronger, and often leaves behind many of the stereotypes of the Metalcore style, such as with the track “Your Old Ways”, which has some great guitar work in the Melodic Death Metal sense that works well to create a faster, heavier sounding track. Of course, following that track is a little more intricate musical track that, again, brings the focus more towards Metalcore, but at times has chords that sound more alongt he lines of a toned down Progressive Post-Hardcore sound like Between the Buried and Me mixed with an A Life Once Lost type of Groove technical musicianship. While this ounds good, it often just seems to go nowhere until the solo, which comes in just in the nick of time and is a very strong, well done solo to ring in the music that actually does take the song somewhere, a more chugging approach, but one that is a little more solid and not just like the earlier material that was intricate and only a few riffs played with gaps in between them to give off a robotic impression.

There isn’t anything that really comes off as negative about the album, other then that there isn’t really all that much that stands out more then just solid Metalcore and Melodic Death Metal concepts brought into traditional compositions about the style. It also helps that this recording does sound like an At the Gates or Shadows Fall knock off, which seems to be much the rage amongst this style anymore. The production on the effort sounds a little weak, but not enough to hurt the music in any form, and the music is enjoyable. The vocals also add a nice edge to the recording. Again, the clean vocals do sound rather soothing, which is not really something you would expect on a release like this. The other vocals here are your standard rough, shouting style that is common among Metalcore releases, but it’s typically a deeper shouting approach, though sometimes it does get a little higher in some random moments on songs throughout the recording, but the deeper shouts are a lot better, and suit the release more.

Breathless is far from a bad album, but it’s also not a release that has any genuine originality or jaw dropping moments. But, what it lacks in originality, it makes up for in strong compositions that really work well in a traditional Metalcore sense with some Melodic Death Metal hooks and influences throughout the recording. The Eyes of a Traitor may be stepping back from some of the stronger Melodic Death Metal compositions they started out with, but in the long run, they continue to write hard hitting songs that are enjoyable for what they are, and still worth giving a spin if given the chance.


01. Prologue – 0:47
02. The Birth – 3:53
03. Come to My Senses – 4:26
04. The Real You – 3:36]
05. Your Old Ways – 4:34
06. Talk of the Town – 4:10
07. Nothing to Offer – 3:58
08. Breathless – 3:58
09. Crumble and Break – 4:06
10. Grounded – 4:44
Initial Pressing Score: 6.5/10

The Eyes of a Traitor
The Eyes of a Traitor

Digital review copy of this release provided by Listenable Records.