In Dying Arms - Boundaries (2012)


The past fifteen reviews that I've written for this site have almost all come to me generally easily. What I mean is that I would usually formulate a pretty stable and firm opinion on an album within the first two or three listens. The day finally came where an album truly made me listen to it over and over again before I could even begin to form my opinions for what would eventually be this review. Ladies and gentlemen, get ready for one of the most scatterbrained reviews ever presented on this website.

In Dying Arms is a band that has been around for almost seven years now and has a demo, an EP, and two full lengths. On September 25th, they'll be adding a third full length to their catalogue. Boundaries is the band's first release since being signed to Artery Records; a major accomplishment not just for this band but any band in general. I've actually been a fan of the band since their first EP, This Is Retaliation, and I've seen them grow, expand, and experiment first-hand when it comes to their sound. In Dying Arms has always been an incredibly heavy band. When I first heard them, I was blown away by their extremely heavy lows and their highs. At the time, I had never heard a single band match them in terms of strength and sheer skull crushing ability.

On This Is Retaliation, the band had a few clean vocal parts on a couple songs and I was never really bothered by them much but after listening to their self-titled full length, I was starting to grow weary that the clean vocals would start taking over their sound and they'd eventually lose the heaviness that I came to love so much from them. Their clean vocals are actually provided by the screamer, Orion Stephens, which I found to be quite unique. The cleans in my honest opinion are not the best and remind me sort of a whiny post-hardcore band. I'm absolutely in love with his high and low screams but when it comes to his clean singing, I am and have never really been a big fan.

Boundaries actually had an overwhelming amount of cleans on it and during my first few listens I was almost certain I was going to have to give a band I enjoy so much a bad review. I was determined to not let that happen and after vigorously listening to it for the past few days, I've come to appreciate In Dying Arms' blend of something soft and something increasingly heavy. I never thought that the two would work well together but in the case of In Dying Arms, they have. Let's not get it twisted though, I tolerate the clean vocals but I am not quite in love with them and will always enjoy the screaming parts much more than anything else. Boundaries incorporated so many different elements throughout the entire album. We had cleans, crushing high and low screams, many melodic riffs and interludes as well as an Emmure style "cleanly speak right before the breakdown" sort of thing.

I've got to hand it to the boys from Baltimore, Maryland. They've taken a genre that has been crawling with boring and generic bands for quite some time and taken it to a whole new level. Now, for the love of everything that is holy, please, do not go around and call them post-deathcore because anything that has clean vocals is not defined as post-hardcore. Please, get that through your heads before you write anything of the sort. If you need another example, be sure to check out Beneath The Sky. Honestly though, if you are a fan of everything that is heavy, you will in fact love this album. If you can't get past the cleans, then I actually feel sorry for you because you're missing out on a fantastic band that has the capability to give you a headache that could last a week.

All in all, In Dying Arms is one of those bands that doesn't care about the fact that they're changing; they do it because they want to do it and because they feel like it's their best option as a band. Everyone should take notes from them because they're the epitome of what more bands need to be like. Don't be afraid to experiment with what you feel will help progress you further as a band.



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By Alex Lee ~ Me Gusta Reviews

 

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