Leave The Living
Justin Shadows – Vocals
Ben Bushido – Guitar
Jose Dyck – Guitar
Steven McGillivray – Bass
Sean Higgins – Drums
1) Let Go
The song starts with some hammer-ons from the guitar, with the rhythm guitar coming in a few bars after. It has a nice mid paced groove to it and the recording sounds like they had the whole band in the same room to do the recording together and no several tracks. It has a raw and gritty sound. Doesn’t always work for bands but I actually like it with Leave the Living. When the vocals kick in with a “Let’s go!!” This song has very minimal lyrics, but it seems like more of an intro for the listeners to know what they are getting into. A raw, gritty no holds barred blend of metal. The vocals have a good sound about them, reminiscent of some early 90s hardcore bands branching into the metal sound. For such a short yet simple track I like it, the first have can get a pit going, and the second half changes to a quicker tempo and can also get some bodies moving.
The song starts out with a little beat on the snare drum, and the whole band joins right in. The song rocks you with a good verse, and a solid chorus. But the breakdown kicks it in heavy, followed by a nice walking bass line. Judging by this song, this is a band you never heard of, you go to a small show, they play, and you walk out impressed. The next morning your whole body hurts. I like their enthusiasm, and energy.
This song has a short guitar intro with an ominous feel about it, guides us along a 1 minute path ultimately leading to a barrage of blast beats and menacing vocals. The guitars are nothing flashy, or technical, but they fit the song well. Right at the halfway mark we get a nice little bridge where you can start to move around. Coming out of that bridge its back to a verse filled with blast beats, and comes out with a hardcore style breakdown. This section is where I enjoyed the song the most, but not to say I didn’t enjoy the beginning of the song. It just had a cool raw hardcore breakdown.
4) Word of A Whore
The song starts out with a 1,2,3,4, on the drum sticks, it has a mid-paced feel to it with a decent groove you can move along to. It has a “fuck you” right in your face type of attitude about it mixed with a buzz saw distortion sound for the guitars. There is nothing special about this song, it doesn’t have a killer guitar solo, or crazy drumming. It’s a catchy song, you can move to, and they aren’t trying to conform to any fads. There is no clean singing here. Just a gritty song that will have one of two effects on the listener. They will enjoy it, or be offended somehow. I enjoyed it.
5) Open Sea
This song is the instrumental track of the album, not bad, nothing fancy. Just didn’t do it for me. I get what they wanted to achieve from it, and I get that every band is doing something instrumental these days. I think this album would have been fine without it. The song doesn’t have the energy that the other songs have.
This song starts out with a cool guitar rhythm, a slower feel to it. Has a nice groove about it, and then the guitar starts to add some more dimension with the picking. After about a minute of all that, the band really jumps in with a slow but punchy feel to it. I imagine a small club and someone in the crowd losing some teeth. When the vocals kick in they are short but straight to the point verse segments. Right around 2:45 mark the song takes on a change I just didn’t expect. I was expecting something brutal with a good breakdown groove, but it was more chaotic. However that’s probably what they were going for, if so; mission accomplished.
7) Poison Pen
This song begins with a little bass line, and cymbal roll into a verbal attack. Justin is giving this song the force fed approach. He is force feeding you the vocals, and as it would seem the gang vocals work perfectly for this song. I just did not care for the guitars in this song as much I had in previous songs. I like the vocals and the lyrics for this song, drums are not bad, but the guitars really weren’t compelling
8) Sink or Swim
This song has a cool little intro and when the vocals come in, they are a mean blend. This beginning has caused me to hit the back button and listen to it 3-4 times now in this short block of time. I am enjoying this song, the vocals, and the guitars. The verses are great, and the chorus has a very punchy feel to it. This would be a cool song to see in a live setting. I am actually currently looking for live footage of this band just to see what the crowd’s reaction to this music is. The song feels like a machine chugging along and then grinding its way slow to a halt.
This song is an instrumental song that in my opinion worked much better than “Open Sea” This showcases more double bass drumming, and guitar solo work. It is still chaotic in nature but it seemed to have more thought put into it I feel. Honestly if I was the one who laid out this album, I would have ended on Sink or Swim, and used Farewell as the “Bonus, or hidden” track.
For this album I was pleasantly surprised by it but also had moments where it didn’t flow for me. Moments where it was like I was really getting into it, body moving, but then a point where the song took a change that was similar to hitting your elbow on something and just ugly facing and rubbing it. They have a fuzzy sound; on one hand I liked it but the other felt like I was missing out on things. With their bellicose vibe I sense they went for that sound to have a gritty raw that worked. I would have done without the “Open Sea” instrumental track, saved the money on that song, and done something different. This album exceeded expectations, but still came with a few areas that felt off. Its times like these i like discovering bands that i have never heard before.
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