Blessed By A Broken Heart - All Is Fair In Love And War (Cover Artwork)

Blessed By A Broken Heart

All Is Fair In Love And War (2004)

Blood & Ink

All Is Fair In Love And War is the first release from these Montreal-based, Christian metalheads, and it is exactly what is to be expected from a young band's first big release: no real consistency in terms of sound and/or style, which makes for a half-good, half-bad album.

I usually try to stray away from purchasing, or even listening, to generic preachy religious crap, but I couldn't help but pick this album up. Other than having the coolest record cover I've ever seen, BBABH's lyrics are neither preachy nor cheesy, which is something that is very rare to find in not just Christian music but the metalcore/hardcore scene nowadays in general.

I shouldn't, however, say that this album is totally "cheese free." The indie-romance-flick samples that are put in here and there between songs can be a little overbearing, as are the drum-machine, 10000000 bpm blast beats, but those are only minor problems that I actually kind of grew to enjoy. My biggest problems with this band and the album is the (yes, I know the word is over-used) Cookie Monster vocals. It's just way too much. You'd hope a band with such songwriting abilities would be much easier to comprehend. Singer Hugh's vocals can be so drudgy and gross that sometimes I wonder if my speakers have been ruined or the static coming from his voice is too much for even the recording mic.

Also, the song "Mic Skillz" is a track that should've been kept off the album entirely, or at least made into a secret track that hopefully no one would find. It's such a shame too, because the music behind the ridiculous lyrics is probably the most enjoyable on the album. Hugh makes lame attempts (jokingly, I hope) at rapping, followed by, don't ask me why, the screaming of the alphabet. Seriously, guys... what the fuck?

But, negative remarks aside, I do like this album quite a bit. It takes everything that you (used to) love about Atreyu, Bleeding Through, and yes...the almighty Motley Crue. The guitars are heavy and moshable, especially in the beginning tracks "Another Day/Another War" and "That Knife Ain't For Butter." There is actually some very melodic singing that evens everything out, like in "Some Kind Of Wonderful" and "Courting Mary."

My favorite track on All Is Fair... has to be "OMG!" which is not only the catchiest but most well-written track. It's one of those gang-chant tracks, with everyone lunging for the mic; "When tragedy strikes / You're so quick the point the finger! / You blame it all / On my God!"

Just put your beliefs, whatever they are, aside for a moment, and enjoy this album for what it is: a respectable first release from a band that is sure to have a bright future.