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Dead Hearts - Bitter Verses (Cover Artwork)

Dead Hearts

Dead Hearts: Bitter VersesBitter Verses (2006)
Ferret Records

Reviewer Rating: 4
User Rating:


Contributed by: AnchorsAnchors
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Bitter Verses should do nothing if not serve as a wake-up call. A wake-up call to anyone who likes hardcore, but has somehow or other been sleeping on Dead Hearts. One of the more criminally underrated bands in any genre, Buffalo's finest (since Snapcase) have made some tweaks to their melodic hardc.
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Bitter Verses should do nothing if not serve as a wake-up call. A wake-up call to anyone who likes hardcore, but has somehow or other been sleeping on Dead Hearts. One of the more criminally underrated bands in any genre, Buffalo's finest (since Snapcase) have made some tweaks to their melodic hardcore sound, and the result is a fine one.

For this go-round, Dead Hearts have honed their sound, strengthened their songwriting, and become much less reliant on a specific kind of song structure. Singer Derek Dole sounds better than ever, something that's immediately noticeable as the shouts of "These are the restless nights! These are the sleepless nights!" follow the rhythmic drum patterns that lead "Dusk" from the beginning. The powerful gang vocals are well accented by some more intricate guitar work that the band might not have thought to use on previous efforts. It's clear they've let the style of Modern Life Is War influence their change in direction, but not to the point of copy. It's still Dead Hearts, and it's still as energetic and passionate as ever.

Following the captivating gang vocals that ended "Dusk," "Fall" treads in some different waters. A much harder, and much angrier effort than had been hinted at with the previous track, "Fall" lets the vocals carry the majority of the weight. The melodic undercurrents do well to propel the song along its course, but it's Dole that really ties everything together.

The most noticeable improvement in the album, though I'd be a liar to say much was wrong with their previous records, is the all out intensity. As I touched on a bit earlier, it seems every aspect of their songwriting process was taken up a few notches for the recording of this album. The drums hit harder, the riffs hit harder, the vocals hit harder, all adding up to not only a fuller sound, but one that surpasses the standard melodic hardcore the band began with. What's more, is that even with some fleshed out song times, like the four-minute "Hope," every moment grips you by the throat, not giving so much as a chance to catch your breath. There's variation where there wasn't before, and songs like this seem to exemplify that.

"Hollow" starts off with some back-and-forth gang vocals, before a quick guitar bridge lets Dole lash out and deliver his vocals in a manner that only now does he seem to be capable of. More comfortable than ever, the guitarists change up the chord progressions quite frequently, and the varying tempos are still able to keep up that intensity and keep up that rage that fuels each and every one of the 15 songs.

To call it a re-invention teeters on the overdramatic, but this is certainly a band who's tinkered with their formula to create something that fans of the band might not have expected a year or two ago. I can only imagine that this newfound comfort and intensity will allow the band to progress, and get even better with time. In the meantime, these are their restless nights, these are their sleepless nights.

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Sick_Nick (October 12, 2006)

Bristol, TN*

Sick_Nick (October 12, 2006)

I saw these guys in Bristol YN, about 2 years ago when they just singed to Ferret, all 5 of us in the crowd loved em... Nice guys to, i felt bad that they stopped there and noone showed up.. I picked up thier special edition tour 7 inch in yellow to.

crazytoledo (October 12, 2006)

Toledo: Straight Edge 'Til 21!

You know it!

Anonymous (October 11, 2006)

Toledo: Straight Edge 'Til 21!

crazytoledo (October 11, 2006)

Pssh, I'm pissed that I waited a week after getting this to finally give it a listen. Amazing.

And not all straight edge kids are like that. Well I know I'm not like that, since I'm technically straight edge.

mikeinflames (October 11, 2006)

that's probablly because there were only about 50 people there when DH took the stage and most of them were in the back drinking or in the back posing and giving the people drinking dirty looks ... stupid straight edge kids

changeisasound (October 11, 2006)

this album is amazing. i saw them play toronto a couple weeks ago. the crowd was so weak. i felt bad for them. they had so much energy and the crows was so lame.

LeightonESmith (October 11, 2006)

This is good hardcore. I fucking loved their EP and although this doesn't top it, its right up there as far as good hardcore releases for 2006 goes.
I'll give Dead Hearts props for trying a concept album in this genre. I just hope they'll break some balls with the next disc.

Anonymous (October 10, 2006)

how is three interludes every other song? open your ears.

TeddyTexas (October 10, 2006)

"seems like every other song on this album is an instrumental interlude. like this is just a padded-out EP or something."

this is exactly what i thought

Anonymous (October 10, 2006)

seems like every other song on this album is an instrumental interlude. like this is just a padded-out EP or something.

Snakes (October 10, 2006)

ha ha ha i'm going to stay out of this one.

crazytoledo (October 10, 2006)

I really need to listen to this. I have it, but it's been getting put off. Either way, it's great from the little bit of time I've listened to.

Anonymous (October 10, 2006)

these guys blew me away when they opened for sick of it all but despite the cd being fairly solid it left me kind of bummed. the songs seem to work a lot better in a live setting, on disc they seem really repetitive

mikeinflames (October 10, 2006)

saw these guys open for sick of it all a couple weeks ago
they really impressed me so i picked up this album
it's decent but doesn't come close to capturing how intense they are live

Anonymous (October 10, 2006)

sigh yes Snapcase was great, I listen to them everyday still

score is for snapcase, good review Í am going to seek this one out

Barkley

inagreendase (October 10, 2006)

Yeah, they totally went from Suicide Fileish fun rock'n'roll to completely serious Modern Life Is War stuff -- which ain't a bad thing at all really, but whenever I listen to this I just think about how much it sounds like MLIW. A lot of the song structures seem kinda repetitive, too.

Still, definitely a good album.

sickboi (October 10, 2006)

I really dug their EP, I'll definately be checking this out

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