Texas In July - Texas In July (2012)

Lancaster, Pennsylvania is home to one of the best metalcore bands (in many eyes), August Burns Red, and it seems like there are a lot of bands from Lancaster and the surrounding area that are trying to replicate their sound but very few are successful. Texas In July is one of the few that sticks out amongst the crowd, however, they're not quite on the same level as August Burns Red yet.

Texas In July formed in 2008 and has since released an EP and two full-length albums. The first of the two, I Am, was released in 2009 and helped the band get some much needed exposure. In 2011, they released One Reality. One Reality was a solid release, but it failed to reach the high expectations that quite a few fans had. Their newest album, a self-titled effort, is a step ahead of One Reality and it just may be the band's best release to this point.

After a fairly lengthy intro and buildup, we're greeted with a crushing breakdown followed by fast and melodic metalcore riffing on "Cry Wolf". Like on the band's previous releases, Texas In July is very impressive instrumentally. The guitar riffs and leads are spectacular, the drumming is full of technique and it's very hard-hitting, the bass makes everything sound extra tight, and the breakdowns are huge.

When it comes to things that need improvement, there is one thing that has always needed to be touched up a little bit on Texas In July's releases. The vocals are monstrous and sound great, but the vocalist primarily screams in a mid to low tone and it has been known to become monotonous. Thankfully, the vocals have improved slightly and the range is a bit wider. In addition to the wider range, there are a few guest spots on Texas In July. Chadwick Johnson (Hundredth) makes an appearance on "Without A Head" and Dave Stephens (We Came As Romans) can be heard on "C4".

The thing that surprised me the most on Texas In July was the other guest appearance on the final track. Matt Greiner (August Burns Red) is featured on "Cloudy Minds" as he and Adam Gray have a bit of a drum-off near the middle of the track. I hope the aforementioned guest appearance pushes bands to use a guest musician from time to time instead of the usual guest vocals because I thought it was a very cool addition that made the track much more fun to listen to.

Texas In July
flows very nicely and it's a great album from start to finish. The strongest tracks are "Without A Head", "Bed Of Nails", the instrumental interlude entitled "Repressed Memories", and "Crux Lust". "Bed Of Nails" displays the heavier side of Texas In July well while tracks like "Repressed Memories", "Crux Lust", and "Without A Head" are based more around melody and ambience.

It took me a few listens to truly acknowledge and appreciate the maturity on Texas In July, but I was very impressed with the lasting impression that it has left. This release is definitely a grower, so if you're not sold after one or two listens, give it another chance!

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By Steven Pongrac ~ Me Gusta Reviews



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