Tears From The Sky - Power Symbol (Cover Artwork)

Tears From The Sky

Power Symbol (2005)

Life Sentence

Tears From The Sky may be yet another entry into the world of metalcore, but they bring a lot to the table. They are a little more metal than a band like Hatebreed and a little less metal than a band like God Forbid. Each song is packed with dual melodic guitars that recall classic metal while the rhythm section still busts out mosh parts when necessary. The songs never approach speed metal or grind caliber velocities, but they are energized. Vocally, the band covers a lot of ground too. Singer Jean-Sebastien Racine recalls Jamey Jasta at points, while at other times he goes a bit Cookie Monster or screamy. Meanwhile, the backing vocalists bring both some melodic moments and deep grunts.

The EP opens full force with "Power Symbol," a song that shows just what Tears From The Sky excel at, packing enough riffs for half an album into four minutes. Double-bass beats, harmonizing leads, and massive crunchy guitars intersect under strong vocals during the verses and choruses while the band also finds time for a couple floor-punching breakdowns and a solo that is a throwback to the metal of days gone by.

The band never lets up after this as the next few songs continue the formula started by "Power Symbol." "The Next Few Days" changes things up a little bit with a couple clean guitar sections, but other than that, Power Symbol is pretty relentless.

The EP ends with the obligatory "state of the scene" song on "As One ‘Til the End." Luckily, the band keeps it fresh with some gang vocals and a host of guest vocalists.

The problem with Power Symbol is that at points it seems too predictable. There are many times when you know when a breakdown is coming and where it is going. Too many of the changes in these songs are things you have come to expect from heavy music. Also, some of the riffs sound familiar, but I guess that is a risk you run if you pack that many into each song.

Maybe Tears From The Sky isn't rewriting the metalcore rulebook, but they have been studying it pretty closely. This is a tight and driving EP that combines hardcore's massive chugging with metal's intricacies.