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Close Your Eyes Line In The Sand

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Close Your Eyes - Line In The Sand
01. Deus Ex Machina
02. Burdened By Hope
03. Days Of Youth
04. Line In The Sand
05. Frame And Glass
06. Sleeping Giant
07. Kings Of John Payne
08. No Borders!
09. The End
10. Higher Than My Station
11. Skeletons
12. Trends And Phases
13. Glory
14. My Way Home
15. Follow The Sun
2013 Victory Records

OUR SCORE
6
USER SCORE
4

Reviewed by: Luke Henderson   //   Published: 12/4/2013

Every band is forced to come to a crossroads when a member departs, and this crisis is usually amplified when the person that leaves is the group's frontman/vocalist. This is the exact predicament Close Your Eyes found themselves in when singer Shane Raymond parted ways with the group, leaving them in the lurch and forcing the question as to whether the band should continue. These Texans decided to soldier on with Sam Ryder (Blessed By a Broken Heart) assuming Raymond's role for the band's third album, Line in the Sand.

As if to prove that they were far from defeated, Close Your Eyes unleashed a particularly protracted release, totalling a bulky 15 songs comprised of their specific punk and rock-influenced brand of melodic hardcore. First off, although bringing a somewhat more natural or organic sound, Ryder's vocals aren't remarkably different from his predecessors, despite the noticeable British accent. There is still a healthy blend of guttural screams, melodic choruses, and harmonized sing-alongs, which will be a great relief for fans of the band's previous works. Ryder also gets help from a couple seasoned vocalists on the tracks "Sleeping Giant" and "The End," with mixed results. "Sleeping Giant" features vocalist Tommy Green (Sleeping Giant) in an awkward mash-up punk verses, metalcore choruses, and even a metallic rap-laden breakdown. "The End," on the other hand, is an album highlight, riding on the strength of Zoli Teglas' (Ignite) impeccable vocals, melody-driven hooks, and infectious riffs.

Like the songs featuring outside help, the rest of Line In The Sand is mixed bag. Tracks like "Burdened By Hope" and "Line In The Sand" display the band's ability to mesh punk and metalcore through focused song-writing and well-placed tempo changes. Unfortunately, the momentum is lost on tracks like "Frame and Glass" and "Trends and Phases," which trade blistering guitar lines and crushing breakdowns for bland alternative-rock trappings and forgettable, overwrought harmonies. While the group's strength definitely lies in their harder and faster material, "Kings of John Payne" demonstrates their ability to write strikingly delicate rock anthems that are simultaneously vulnerable and empowering. Sadly, this track is more of an anomaly than the rule for the group's softer efforts.

The album regains its metallic edge with the crushing "Skeletons," which only gets heavier as it progresses. Like some of the album's other strong songs, this track demonstrates the true capabilities of this band when it comes to writing imposing songs in a variety of related genres. Unfortunately, the album trails off after that, with run-of-the-mill tracks like "Glory" and "My Way Home," which seem to wander aimlessly and consistently fall flat.

Bottom Line: It seems that Close Your Eyes would benefit greatly from exercising greater discretion when it comes to which songs comprise an album. While far from perfect, half of the songs on this 15-song epic significantly outshine the others, and could have been used to build a much tighter, albeit shorter record.

Comments
anonymous   posted 2/7/2014 1:24:01 PM
They named their first song after a motorcycle company.. not a good start. Sorry dudes.
anonymous   posted 12/12/2013 3:57:36 PM
i like this band. don't get down with the god shit but they bring it!
anonymous   posted 12/9/2013 6:48:53 PM
shit album released by shit band.
anonymous   posted 12/9/2013 4:24:39 AM
Wait forever for a review and then get this dog shit. Merry Christmas to you too fa990t
anonymous   posted 12/6/2013 8:09:07 PM
if you didn't at least like this band's previous work, you are a sucker. I heard Devil's Blood has a new release to go pleasure over.

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