Tear Out the Heart- Violence

By Chris Dahlberg

Published on Saturday, April 13, 2013

Metalcore remains a genre that is capable of generating a sizable fanbase, and as a result there continue to be plenty of new acts that try and bring their own variant of the style. St. Louis’ Tear Out the Heart is one of these newcomers, as the group formed in 2011 and has released their debut full length Violence this year. The release moves between metalcore and post hardcore and boasts guest vocals from former Attack Attack! singer Caleb Shomo and Story of the Year vocalist Dan Marsala, but it doesn’t quite stand out from the pack as the arrangements end up sounding just a bit too familiar.

The vocal arrangements are an area where the band really brings a variety of sounds to the table, as there is a constant shift between harsh and clean styles. Although the harsher pitches have a tendency to dominate the material as Tear Out the Heart’s lead singer has an extremely aggressive growl/screaming range, the much lighter clean vocals are given a good deal of air time as well and help to balance out the overall sound. Combine that with the aforementioned guest vocalists and you have songs that offer a fairly dynamic mix of harsh and clean pitches. It was great to see that every style that popped up had the same level of energy and intensity, and it never felt as though the singers in the group were taking on any pitches they weren’t capable of.

While the vocals move between harsh and light on a regular basis, the instrumentals are skewed heavily towards metalcore with the occasional burst of post hardcore. All of the elements the genre has become known for are present, as the tonality goes for a harsher down-tuned sound and there are a decent amount of breakdowns throughout the album. For the majority of the songs Tear Out the Heart continues on in this fashion, but there are a few tracks like “Closer” where the instrumental work mellows out significantly and heads towards melodic leads that have a post hardcore feel. Although there are some moments where everything comes together and the band puts together some catchy riffs that are worth returning to, Violence isn’t able to maintain this consistently and there are a few too many ideas that sound just a bit too similar to everything else out there.

I still like what Tear Out the Heart has been together, as metalcore of this style has always drawn me in and the group has managed to put together a well-produced and competently played release. But they need a bit more work in order to truly find that distinguishing feature that puts them in the spotlight. Listeners who are big fans of the genre will still find enjoyment out of Violence and may find it worth a purchase, but I think I will wait to see where they go next and would have to give As They Burn the higher recommendation out of Victory’s recent releases.


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