Artist: Through Her Eyes
Album: Hymns of the Broken Hearted – EP
There are really no shortage of reasons to love music—really, have you ever heard anyone say they just straight out don’t listen to anything? It’s a great unifier for people of practically any walk of life—even if it’s a metal-head talking to a folk accordionist, music remains a common ground that can foster friendships where nothing else can. Just as important as it is for bringing people together, music is also crucial for the times in our lives where we feel alone. The words and sounds we hear in our favorite songs speak to us—they bring us together and remind us that we aren’t alone. Case in point: the debut EP by New York newcomers Through Her Eyes, Hymns of the Broken Hearted. With Hymns, Through Her Eyes speak out to the downtrodden, grabbing their attention with groovy, heavy breakdowns and soothing them with serene, cleanly sung choruses. Taking a polished, yet punishing, approach to conventional metalcore, Through Her Eyes’ debut offering is a sound testament to variety, keeping listeners engaged and interested throughout the EP’s brief run time.
Instrumentally, Through Her Eyes align themselves with the earlier works of bands like Asking Alexandria and The Devil Wears Prada, using catchy electronic touches over a foundation of solid percussion and fretwork to appeal to a broad variety of listeners. Drummer and principle songwriter Chad Sutliff does a brilliant job of setting the tone for every song. “Dig” and “Backstabber” see him leaning heavily on speedy kick drum patterns and fancy, flashy fills to segue into spine-crushing breakdowns. Meanwhile, “Undeserving” is a short track that sees the band experimenting with more atmospheric styles. Here, Sutliffsits back, providing a strong beat for bassist Tom Rehorto dance around. Where the opening numbers see Rehor plodding aggressively alongside Sutliff’s racing kick drum, “Undeserving” and “Forever Forgotten” see him working more closely with guitarist Harrison Seanor. Seanor—bolstered by Rehor’s bass—makes “Dig” a dense, devastating display of force—while the latter tracks see him writing more intricate riffs and grooves that include elements of atmosphere alongside his downtuned, dissonant chugs. Complete with electronic elements and symphonic touches, Through Her Eyes’ instrumental aspect gives listener’s a plethora of styles to enjoy, even if none of them are necessarily game changers.
Where the late-2000’s metalcore influence is abundant in the band’s musicianship, a more contemporary vocal style defines the band’s lyrical and vocal element. Frontman Sean Kawczak—aided with clean vocals from Seanor—gives the band a gruff, burly voice. Anthems like “Dig” see him at his most aggressive, seeking violence and revenge—while the latter tracks see Kawczak in a more introspective light. While Kawczak’s aggressive voice fills close to 70% of a given song, guitarist Seanor lends his voice for catchy, clean choruses that stay caught in the listener’s head. “Backstabber” is a bold example—as is the album opener, “Dig.” While Kawczak and Seanor may not do anything shocking to add zest to a predictable clean/scream vocal dynamic, it can’t be argued that they work excellently together, painting vivid images with their lyrics and voices that just about any listener will be able to relate to.
Through Her Eyes are, ultimately, a generic band; which isn’t to say they are bad, simply that they adhere to time-honored paths paved by bands who came before them. This makes Hymns of the Broken Hearted a fun, catchy listen—but not one without flaws. A majority of the tracks—“Dig” especially—see Seanor’s guitar drowned out by drumming and electronic elements, muddy and hard to distinguish even through high quality speakers. While the more ambient songs manage to minimize this, it still plagues the heavier portions of the EP. Additionally, many of the vocal patterns—especially in “Dig” and “Backstabber”—sound practically copy-and-pasted, making the two excellent songs slightly weary when played back to back. Ultimately, these flaws are more minor footnotes than anything major—meaning some listeners probably won’t even notice—allowing the release to shine with little holding it back. If you’ve forgotten your roots (because we all started by listening to things like this in that unfortunate scene phase), or are just looking for a fun, bouncy new band to sink your ears in to, it’s time you take a look Through Her Eyes.
For Fans Of: Asking Alexandria, The Devil Wears Prada, In Hearts Wake, Like Moths to Flames
By: Connor Welsh