Friday, August 23, 2013

Sworn In - The Death Card

Overview: Three Fucking Cheers

Sworn In is an Illinois hardcore/deathcore/metalcore (I'm not entirely sure what to label them) band that formed in 2011. In 2012 they released their first EP, Start/End which I enjoyed but thought there were things that could've been done better. The band released the song "Let Down" which I absolutely love and got me pumped for the album.

The Positive: The album absolutely kills, it's undeniably brutal. From the get go you're in for a 40-minute session of being kicked in the balls and punched in the face simultaneously and as soon as it ends all you can say is "Thank you sir, may I have another?" There are breakdowns and surprisingly a ton of riffage, and good riffage at that. The vocals are pretty nuts too, his highs are shrieking and his lows sound like the stereotypical ultra-Christian idea of what Satan sounds like. Some of the phrases he screams with such passion and in some instances, velocity that it's impossible not to get into. On to the songs, what separates Sworn In from the plethora of bands in this genre is good songwriting. They take a cue from Parkway Drive and use breakdowns to accent the song instead of building an entire song around a breakdown which is what it seems 95% of bands do now. "Hypocrisy" is a crazy good standout with great lines. The band is great at writing one-liners that stick in your head all day. For example, "So take your necklace off and put a fucking noose in its place."(From "Hypocrisy"). "Dead Soul", "A Song for the Nameless", "Snake Eyes", "Deadpan", "Three Cheers", the short but super sweet "Bitter Blood" and "Death" are the rest of the tracks that I have as standouts that are fantastic tracks. These tracks alone are better than some albums that have been released this year.

The Negative: While the lyrics aren't exactly riveting they're brutal and get you pissed like they're supposed to and that's all they need to do. Also the interludes "Senseless" and "Mute" work as nice breaks if you're listening to the album all the way through as I did a few times and they tie the songs together pretty well but besides that they don't do much for me. I haven't decided how I feel as the intro "XIII" and the closing track "Return (Heartless)", the intro is good and sets the album up pretty well but I don't see myself listening to it besides that. "Return (Heartless" is a solid track but I'm not feeling it entirely.

Overview: It's a great debut album that's not perfect but who's album is these days anyway? The Death Card is hopefully the first album in a long career for the band. It won't win any "album of the year" but it's a damn good album. Sworn In are poised to become one of the standout bands in a genre(s) overrun with generic bands.

Number of Tracks Kept: 10/13

Rating: 8/10

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