Review: My Heart to Fear – Lost Between Balance and Insanity (2012)
Solid State Records is experiencing somewhat of a renaissance these days. With stellar releases from flagship bands August Burns Red, Emery, and OhSleeper in 2011 and stellar debuts from newcomers Wolves at the Gate and The Overseer, My Heart to Fear has quite a hill of expectations to climb. With this EP introducing the metalcore group to the masses, the reaction has been mixed, and justifiably so. The band is not without potential, though. Lots of it.
While groundbreaking releases in heavy music have stood out from the crowd this year (Wolves at the Gate, The Overseer, The Chariot) plenty of generic, albeit fun, metalcore releases have released to much demand and fanfare as well (Woe is Me, Memphis May Fire, For Today). My Heart to Fear’s Solid State debut somehow manages to straddle this line, leading me to believe they are a young band with a lot to learn but with a lot of talent buried under those breakdowns and standard cleans. I’d be telling a very tall lie if I didn’t get the urge to slam dance, sitting at my table headbanging in my business casual attire post-work 30 seconds into “Blood Money.” Laugh, please. But if music isn’t groundbreaking on paper, something has to be good about it if it makes chill-personality ol’ me react like that.
“Life Under the Stairs” continues the album with some I, the Breather-esque drum fills and creepy distortions creating brief interludes in the madness. The appropriately titled “Legends Never Die” goes with the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” metalcore/hardcore formula. I keep thinking I’m hearing Mattie Montgomery here with all the passion and bold lyrics heard, although sonically he’s a dead ringer for the guy at times too. An oddly placed synth throws me off briefly but I am thankful for the momentary change in mood. “Dear Mr White” has one of the more creative breakdowns I’ve heard this year in the first minute or so of the song. Some neat power-metal like soloing is here as well as in the last track, “The Witching Hour.” One final breakdown amidst chanting of “We watch you in your sleep!” ends the album for good on a slightly creepy note. Is the EP worth checking out? Yes. Is it the best thing ever? Not really, but ultimately it’s up to you to decide.