With Passion – What We See When We Shut Our Eyes

It’s hard to pinpoint precisely what makes With Passion’s ‘What We See When We Shut Our Eyes’ so effective. Experience shows that the versatility and jumpiness of music is almost always inversely proportional to the atmosphere that it evokes. However, such is not the case on this album, where the sweeping changes that occur at every bend somehow help develop the fantastic, otherworldly atmosphere present on this disc. Who knew the metalcore could be so… well, good?

In a tremendous shift from the previous LP, With Passion now plays melodic death metal/metalcore with an extreme emphasis on technicality. In all honesty, the music contained on this disc could easily give many bands with the ‘technical’ prefix a run for their money. Not only is the guitar work mind-bendingly fast, fitting an incredible volume and variety of notes into spaces that seem impossibly small, but the drumming takes a note from Meshuggah, resulting in breakdowns that seem to sadistically taunt any such fans would attempt to battle the invisible ninjas during their performance. In fact, the album as a whole has a similarly playful feeling to it: the title isn’t a misnomer. It all feels very dreamlike and surreal.

Of course, beyond the technicality is the absurd amount of ass this release is able to kick. I’m not even sure how; you can clearly see that it’s in the melodic death/metalcore style, and yet it seems to take the genre and manipulate it to something absolutely brilliant. Yeah, you could easily say that the competition isn’t the stiffest, but I prefer to think of this as a fantastic example of an otherwise frequently benighted fusion. A band like With Passion shows the potential of a musical style such as this. Seriously, if you aren’t amazed by the twists and turns of the title track, you have no soul. NO SOUL AT ALL.

So, give it a try. Ignore the initial stigma of the melodic death/metalcore label and see what this band has to offer, because it’s a hell of a lot more than you’d expect.

(Originally written for http://www.vampire-magazine.com)

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~ by noktorn on February 25, 2007.

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