The Gentleman Homicide - Understanding the Words We Speak (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

The Gentleman Homicide

Understanding the Words We Speak (2006)

Blood & Ink

Somebody involved with the release of the Gentleman's Homicide's Understanding the Words We Speak needs to be fired. Be that the producer, somebody at the label, the band's manager if they have one, I'm not sure, but for letting this recording pass, somebody has to go. When I say that the recording of this record is awful, I mean it is god damn awful.

I've gotten releases from Blood & Ink before, and it was never the production that was really an issue, more an issue with the bands being terrible, but this time the opposite is true.

Assuming the production was halfway decent, what we'd have here is a fairly decent metalcore release. It's heavy, first and foremost, but it's actually rather varied and musically interesting. It's more than obvious the band has taken both vocal and musical cues from Dillinger Escape Plan; when they get into trouble is when they feel it necessary to throw in the token breakdowns and death metal growls at points in the song where it's wholly unnecessary. Another positive point for the band is that they keep most of their songs short, many under two minutes even. This is a point many similar bands have a hard time attaining a realization of. Nobody wants to hear 5-minute metalcore songs anymore, it's gotten to the point where that can barely be done in an interesting manner, so the short and sweet approach is one that serves a band like this quite well.

The problems always go back to the production, unfortunately enough for this band.

The vocals, let's start with the vocals. The vocals are the cause of exactly why I think this album should get somebody fired. They're barely audible. And when I say barely audible, I mean when I heard the first song, "Following a Path to Grace," I wasn't sure there was vocals at all. From the sound of it, said vocals would be an extremely solid part of the music were they loud and clear, but since neither of the two are true, they end up doing nothing but detract from the final project. A shame, songs like "Our Faults, Our Failures, Our Lives" and "A Question, A Promise" would absolutely destroy with a strong vocal presence. The music keeps it together, with plenty of quick starts and stops, heavy riffs, quick solos and interludes, but this isn't an instrumental album, so it's only half the battle.