Album Review

Tear Out The Heart - Violence

Released March 19, 2013
Lisa Sanchez

Do I smell Evil Dead references? These boys really know how to massage that meaty tender spot between my spinal cord and squishy viscera. One thing I can never resist is a band with unbending chords mingled with horror movie know-how. Both are apparent with the emergence of brutal newcomers Tear Out The Heart. Even the band name sounds like the dramatic conclusion to a soul-wrenching exorcism thriller.

Despite their fairly recent beginnings, the band has made its head-spinning, vocal-crunching presence known. The band has already been signed to Victory records as of August 2012 and since then they've only made more progress with the release of their album Violence on March 19th this year. The album made it onto Revolver's Album of the Week list and now they are receiving a thrilling album review on the prestigious Altohio.com.

Firstly, lead singer Tyler Konersman has vocals that may just compel audiences to feed kittens into ATMs. It is a driving force that implores a message, mostly about homicide, but I'll be damned if it isn't an appealing demon wail. Admittedly, I'm never a big fan of clean vocals, which are featured in quite a few of their songs including "Undead Anthem" (with featured vocals from Caleb Schomo) and "Infamous Last Words." Isaac Etter, guitarist and clean vocalist, cuts through Konersman's gutteral spewings to put a melodic edge on the songs. His singing is not unappreciated on this album: it's not thrown in just for the sake of having clean vocals, and is often overlapped with gutteral lyrics.

Secondly, the Missouri-based quintet sticks by their statement of having "no weak links" in the band, with crushing guitar riffs and solid drums. Every song on Violence is a new experience. With some songs featuring intermingled piano and synth, Tear Out The Heart has more to offer than generic metal riffs. The composition of the songs is intricately layered, and compels the listener's ear to choose between the precision of the music or the blood-curdling lyrics. On "Closure", the band mixes meloncholy melody with Converge-style rants. The song builds into a dramatic display, showing Tear Out The Heart knows what they're doing, both in composition as well as execution.

Violence is a powerhouse album with Tear Out The Heart firmly putting their best claw forward. Some special favorite tracks that may or may not have made me horror-geek-squeal include "Dead By Dawn" and "Feed Me a Stray Cat". Not only are the song titles reminiscent of "Name that horror movie line for $500" but the vocals are especially devilish and the guitar is continuously unrelenting. In addition to those gems, the band's premiere video for "Infamous Last Words" is better than half of the horror movies I've seen since 2007. I dare you to watch it. In the dark. Seriously.