01. My Hell
02. Forget Your Brother, Forget Yourself
04. Hold True
05. What Lies Within
06. This Fire
07. I Disapprove
08. No Resolution
09. The Walls You Build
10. Hold True (acoustic)
2006 Hold True Recordings
What Lies Within, a California hardcore foursome that broke up way back in 2003, has been briefly brought back into the music world with the release of their complete recorded discography on Hold True Recordings. Complete Discography is comprised of material previously released on Good Life Recordings, as well as a few "unreleased and rare" (music jargon for "poorly recorded") tracks, and at a less than stunning length of eleven tracks. The listener can't help but wonder if there is really a need for this album. After a few listens, I was actually pleasantly surprised to discover that this small, deceased band had actually written a few songs that are pretty rock solid.
What Lies Within's style was a blend of Shai Hulud with earlier, Petitioning the Empty Sky-era Converge. The rock influenced climax of "My Hell" and the Boy Sets Fire-esque melodic departure of "Hold True" also display What Lies Within's ability to incorporate a few other styles without losing sight of their goal of crafting fast, emotional hardcore. The opening four tracks, taken from a 2003 split with Death Before Disco, were the band's final musical output and are superior to the rest of the tracks on Complete Discography. Other tracks, such as an acoustic version of "Hold True" that is plagued by poor singing and a cover of Del Shannon's "Runaway" that sounds like it was recorded with a four dollar microphone inside of a garbage can are simply unnecessary, but were most likely included to maintain the authenticity of having a "complete" recorded discography release.
The production style of Complete Discography is also another definite highlight. Since the tracks were compiled from a number of different releases there is a bit of variation in production in between tracks, but on the whole, all of the tracks possess an appealing DIY-esque recording quality. These recordings might not be perfect, but their raw feel is free of unnecessary bullshit and suits the band's style incredibly well.
Bottom Line: Despite a few unnecessary tracks and some less than impressive earlier material, the fact remains that Complete Discography has some excellent content that will appeal to fans of Shai Hulud and early Converge. Although I would recommend What Lies Within's Death Before Disco split over this release, without this disc coming my way I would have had absolutely no opportunity to check these guys out. Sure, What Lies Within may have had little exposure to the hardcore scene during their lifetime, but this release might just snag a few more listeners who never had the opportunity to give theses guys a try a few years ago.