Facedown's newest artist, Poured Out, really impressed with the re-release of their Blind Heart EP earlier this year. That EP set Poured Out up to by my most anticipated heavy album for the remainder of the year. The 90's hardcore throwback sound was divine and reminded me so much of the earlier Facedown days. I was raring to go for some more 90's flavored hardcore, but that's not really what their full-length album, To The Point of Death, has to offer. The throwback hardcore sound has been replaced with a more modern hardcore feel.
"Dementia" opens the album with an all-out metal assault with a much more aggressive and modern sound (especially in the drums) than anything on Blind Heart. The song eventually settles into a nice little hardcore groove and is a solid start to the full-length label debut. The tracks seem to blur by at a fairly fast clip without noticing a lot of differences between each one until the emergency broadcast tone rings out at the beginning of "5-101." The rhythms, tempo, and breakdowns change up a bit more in this one and it lets the number stand out a bit more. A cool combination on the album is the instrumental "Weeping…" and the accompanying song, "…And Gnashing of Teeth." The two tracks are an obvious reference to the suffering described by Jesus, himself, in the gospels of Matthew and Luke. Most of the remainder of the album blends together like the first half, but the closer, "Victim of My Own Hate," changes tempos up again for a more interesting listen.
It's very unfortunate that Poured Out altered their sound for the debut album. Sure, they are still a hardcore band. Sure, the music is pretty enjoyable and is worthy of some head banging. But, overall, To The Point of Death just doesn't live up to the hype that the Blind Heart EP created. There are some good tracks present, but nothing comes close to "American Justice" or "Hymn of Broken Man" from the EP. If you're looking for a new hardcore/metal band to jam to, Poured Out may be exactly what you're looking for. And while I'm sure the differences are more subtle to other listeners, if you were expecting that punk influenced hardcore from their EP, you may want to look elsewhere. To The Point of Death isn't a bad listen, but it's not as good as it could have been.- Review date: 10/19/16, written by Michael Weaver of Jesusfreakhideout.com
Overall, To the Point of Death is not an easy album to appraise; it's 40 minutes of chaos with no focal point, a 13-part tribute to noise, an energy with no obvious plan. Each track, each stanza even, progresses without apparent concern for the prior or those to follow. In this way, the release imposes a sense of immediacy upon the listener, a commitment to nothing more than the note at hand. The album is, however, a commitment to form. Poured Out have chosen to embrace the spotlight by humbly providing more of the same, a move that will satisfy both budding fans and their parent label for the present. While there is certainly room for improvement in the areas of diversity, creativity, and song structure, it is unreasonable to fault a young band for building a foundation before reaching for the stars.
Lyrically, To the Point of Death is surprisingly uplifting, considering the vocal delivery of its message. For instance, on "Apathy | Nothing," Randy Lyvers screams, "We always want to be strong, but there's strength in feeling weak / You're never too lost to be found / Don't give up now / Pull through before you hit the ground." The album is also expressively Christ-centered, which is apparent on "Remember Me," "A man torn apart, a man betrayed, a man who came to save us from our dismay / King of kings, remember me". Lyrics such as these are something to be appreciated and all too rare within hardcore music.
All in all, for those who enjoyed Blind Heart, To the Point of Death is a worthwhile listen. If you're looking for the easiest way by which to enter, "Fear Tactics" would be this writer's song of choice, as it is holds instances of melody that are well-integrated and welcome within the sonic turbulence. - Review date: 10/19/16, written by Jeremy Barnes
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