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My Epic, Viscera EP
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My Epic
Viscera EP



Artist Info: Discography
Genre(s): Indie Rock
Album length: 5 tracks: 26 minutes, 18 seconds
Street Date: May 6, 2016
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You don't just casually listen to My Epic. Their albums demand attention and is best listened to front to back. Instead of creating singles for quick consumption, they force you to wrestle with their lyrics while enveloping you in dramatic indie rock/post-hardcore soundscapes that take you from tranquility to chaos. Despite its shorter length, their new EP, Viscera, is no different from their previous records in the sense it is a musical journey. It's an approach that requires patience from the listener, but those who allow themselves to be fully immersed in their music can experience something challenging and extraordinary. Viscera--which is Latin for the internal organs in the main cavities of the body--finds the band using the gut, lungs, brain, and heart as metaphors for each track to weave together a loose spiritual and emotional concept over this 26-minute EP.

In the opening seconds of "Ghost Story," a quiet intro with a soft guitar and distant vocals abruptly gives way to heavy guitar riffs, only to transition again to a steady tempo with beautiful electric guitar picking and a thick bass. In its catchy and thought-provoking chorus, lead singer Aaron Stone ponders, "If it costs me nothing, is it worth anything? / I hear You calling, but my God I am scared / Still if You lead me, I will follow You there," capturing a sense of fear for the true cost to follow Jesus, but still being willing to do it. My Epic has always presented their weighty lyrics and dynamic music without ever really screaming (though there is occasionally some yelling), but the band decided to break this rule to allow Shane Ochsner, from their label-mate Everything in Slow Motion, to deliver throat-piercing screams in the bridge. From Shane's broken whispers to his guttural shouting, it's a powerful moment on the EP, only elevating "Ghost Story" further as one of several highlights in My Epic's discography.

"Memoir" doesn't leave as strong of an impression as the opening track, mostly because the lyrics aren't quite as attention-grabbing, and the piano is a bit stale throughout, but it is otherwise a well-crafted tune with a commendable build and climax. The song expresses a deep sense of gratitude for Jesus' sacrifice on the cross, "The righteousness He owned, free to us wicked ones / I fit it in my lungs but it leaves me breathless." "Cesura," which means a complete pause in a verse or musical composition in Latin, gives a brief reprieve from the solemnity with a minute and a half of ambient sounds and a gentle electric guitar, but "Wive's Tale" picks right back up with distorted guitars and a powerful drum beat, almost as if it started right in the middle of a song. The lyrics tell the story of an older lady with dementia from the perspective of her husband trying to support her. Closing the 5-track EP, "Open Letter" wrestles with doubts about how God can be both perfectly just and perfectly merciful. There are no answers provided, but the "Open Letter" does end on a worshipful note with a hidden song.

In the end, Viscera doesn't have quite the same lyrical mastery as Broken Voice, nor the musical epicness of Behold, but it is nonetheless a captivating and thought-provoking mini-album. The band's decision to release more EP's like this every year doesn't seem to hold them back much from creating a cohesive and thoughtful piece of art, and it's exciting to know we won't have to wait long between releases. No My Epic fan or fan of the genre will want to pass on Viscera.

- Review date: 5/3/16, written by Christopher Smith of Jesusfreakhideout.com
A Second Opinion
Stars
In 2013, My Epic came out of nowhere to release one of the most stellar albums of that year, entitled Behold. Now three years later, the band's newest outing, Viscera, definitely has high expectations from fans and has big shoes to fill, which it nearly does, but leaves a bit to be desired. Although it's a dissapointingly small number of songs (4 if you don't count the 90 second interlude), it clearly has that signature My Epic vibe to it. Probably the best song, opening track "Ghost Story," carries a wonderfully deep atmosphere, haunting melodies, and ends with post-hardcore yelling courtesy of Everything In Slow Motion's Shane Oschner. Lyrically, it's about dying to ourselves and carrying our cross ("If it costs me nothing, is it worth anything?"). The following track, "Memoir," begins in quieter fashion with beautiful keys and tender guitar plucking before slowly building to rhythmic percussion and echoed choir-esque vocals boldly singing, "Hell no longer reigns, you can't change a thing; My God, He speaks for me, so I'll not be ashamed." The more rock oriented "Wives' Tale" showcases the more upbeat side of the band, utilizing more aggressive guitar chords and relentless drumming to uniquely pair with the gentle and earnest vocal melodies. Lastly, closing track "Open Letter" is a transparent and layered song that almost feels like two different songs, with the first half being more subdued and reflective, then transitioning into somber rock that brims with emotional gravitas. Thematically, the song feels like a spiritual journey about running from God, then realizing that we can't figure God out completely, which leads to worship and surrender ("Reign here, Good King, and I'll not be afraid; Speak, Living Word, I have nothing to say"). In the end, the only gripes I have are the small tracklist and the fact that three of the songs are over six minutes in length, sometimes dragging on a bit toward the end of each song. While I would've much preferred a full-length album, Viscera does enough things right to satisfy fans of the band for a little while. However, if this is your first My Epic release, you might not appreciate the nuanced sound as much. But if you have the patience to sit through longer songs with a slow burn, Viscera is a rewarding listen. - Review date: 4/15/16, written by Dylan O'Connor of Jesusfreakhideout.com


Outline



    My Epic have been responsible for some of the most beautiful post-rock music over the past ten years, and Viscera is no exception. The follow-up to 2013's Behold is as ethereal as it is aggressive. "Ghost Story," an anthem about the worth of following Christ's call, makes excellent use of the screaming vocals of Everything in Slow Motion's Shane Ochsner. Likewise, "Open Letter" closes the EP with aggressively honest lyrics and coarse musical backing. Although the EP is mostly of a heavier nature, "Memoir" is bound to be held as one of the band's best tracks to date. Viscera is challenging, intense, beautiful, and certainly one not to miss. - 5/24/16, Lucas Munachen of Jesusfreakhideout.com


    My Epic has never failed to deliver anything less than fantastic, and the four-piece from Charlotte, North Carolina has made yet another mark. This latest release, Viscera, harkens back to the band's first release, 2006's This is Rescue. Not only have the hard rock elements returned, but also the sweeping, ethereal melodies which overlap the different tracks, serving to tie the album together. The opening track, "Ghost Story," is one of 2016's best songs released thus far. Without pulling any theological punches, My Epic seems to be experimenting with more anthemic lines ("Hell no longer reigns / Whatever you may say / My God, He speaks for me / And I'll not be ashamed"), which ties well with some of the deeper concepts they tackle, such as a loved one's loss of memory on "Wives' Tale." Although it's unfortunate that this release contains a mere four songs, don't let this gem pass you by. - 4/19/16, David Craft of Jesusfreakhideout.com


    I was introduced to My Epic in 2010 when they released Yet, but it wasn't until the following year when they released Broken Voice that they really jumped onto my radar. They've since become one of the premier names in indie rock and one of Facedown's most consistent artists. They continually find ways to keep themselves in this position and never really seem to fail at it. Viscera is an EP that feels like a full-length record, as its five songs are full of not only minutes and seconds, but more depth than a lot of full-length records these days. "Ghost Story" is a fantastic opener that features guest vocals from Shane Ochsner of Everything In Slow Motion, and the closer, "Open Letter," is an honest song about the struggle of realizing the truth about God's sacrificial nature and how it's above and beyond our capacity to fully understand it. Viscera is surely an EP to pick up this year. - 5/7/16, Scott Fryberger of Jesusfreakhideout.com


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. Record Label: Facedown Records
. Album length: 5 tracks: 26 minutes, 18 seconds
. Street Date: May 6, 2016
. Buy It: iTunes
. Buy It: AmazonMP3
. Buy It: Merchnow

  1. Ghost Story (feat. Shane Ochsner) (6:08)
  2. Memoir (6:37)
  3. Cesura (1:37)
  4. Wive's Tale (4:00)
  5. Open Letter (7:56)

 

 

 

 

 

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