Wednesday, September 1, 2010

In The Midst Of Lions - Out Of Darkness

In The Midst Of Lions Album Art

Rating: 7.4

Site: In The Midst Of Lions
Label: Strike First Records
Release Date: 5/26/2009

1. Awaken The Dawn
2. Tongues Of Fire
3. Out Of Darkness
4. Field Of Blood
5. Paid In Full
6. Manifesto
7. Crucifixion And Burial
8. He Is Risen
9. Herod's Demise
10. Into The Light

I'll be honest, I had never heard of In The Midst Of Lions prior to receiving their Strike First Records debut Out Of Darkness for review. This could by my fault, as I've been slightly out of the loop when it comes to new music, but I think a more reasonable reason would be that the "deathcore" genre has become a well-oiled machine, and has been spitting out so many bands that it's getting extremely hard to keep up with every new face that comes to the surface.
Out Of Darkness opens with "Awaken The Dawn", a lame instrumental intro, featuring a cheesy piano melody and a sample of someone reading a selection out of what I assume is the Bible. I had to try extremely hard to not to turn the record off and walk away right then, but I managed to keep listening, in hopes that the next song would make up for the first. The second track, titled "Tounges Of Fire", opens with those same'ol twang-filled Meshuggah riffs that are becoming all too common in heavy music these days, along with a pretty hoss vocal spit. Though it was a billion times better than the intro track, I still wasn't very impressed with the material. I pressed forward into the record, hoping for something that really pulled me in to the music. Anything at all. Then as track four, titled "The Field Of Blood", rolled around, I heard something that I truely was not expecting. At around the 1:45 mark, I heard some almost post-hardcore influences thrown in the mix, reminiscent of modern acts such as Life In Your Way and early Boys Night Out. I found these influences again during the first 10 seconds or so of the song "Manifesto". Finally, some signs that this band, with a lot of work, might actually be able to build themselves a sound that sets them apart from everyone else in the already crowded "deathcore" scene. Sadly though, the record came to an end just as it began, which really bummed me out.
All in all, I don't really know what to expect from In The Midst Of Lions in the future. Will they just be another band living in Impending Doom's shadow? Will they find a sound that is truely theirs? The answer remains to be seen. If you're a fan of modern tech-metal/deathcore and bands like Meshuggah, Whitechapel, & Veil Of Maya, I'd pick up Out Of Darkness soon. If you're the kind of person who is looking for something that will stand out in your record collection and pushes the genre in a new direction, I'd wait and see where In The Midst Of Lions takes their next release.

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