Artist: Eyes Set to Kill
How many bands do you know that seem like they’re doing their own thing, but are really just giving into pressure and doing as they’re told? I know quite a few and, unfortunately, there was a time that Eyes Set to Kill was one of those bands. However, with the release of their newest album, “Masks”, the follow-up to 2011’s “White Lotus” which was completely self-released, you will see that they have long since abandoned that issue. The band have taken off their “masks” and unleashed a sound that they can truly adhere to and be proud of. A sound that makes Eyes Set to Kill stand apart from the others in their genre. Another new thing I really noticed with this album is that there are a fairly equal amount of vocal parts between screamer, Cisko and sisters, clean vocalist Alexia Rodriguez and bassist, Anissa Rodriguez. Usually, when listening to an ESTK album, you hear more of Alexia or more of Cisko but not a whole lot of both, which is a nice change. The part that most excited me when I heard the album for the first time is the revamped versions of “True Colors”, “Where I Want to Be” and “The Secrets Between”, the latter 2 of which were on the bands previous release and received rave reviews by critics. In a world where it’s so easy to conform to what a label wants from you just so you can make a paycheck, ESTK has proven that they’re in this for the fans, but above all, they’ve revealed a side of themselves that will jolt them into the hearts of millions more fans worldwide.
Lyrical Content: The album name and title track, “Masks” is about how the band felt prior to starting to write this album. They felt as though they had been wearing “Masks” and were discouraged from being the band they know they could be. The intro is eerie and is perfect for introducing this new side of the band. The next track, “Killing In Your Name”, at least to me, is a track about the government and how ridiculous all the blood being shed is. “Everything you say to me has lead me to believe, the truth will only get farther and farther away. Everything is like a dream, there’s no reality, the truth will only get farther and farther away…we’re still killing in your name!” The chorus sums it up, we’re in a nightmare of violence and war over nothing except for greed and tyranny. The way this government has turned our society truly sickens me and, from what I can hear, the band feels the same. “Lost & Forgotten” seems to be a step in the same direction as “Killing In Your Name”, in the respect that it speaks about war, but how soldiers die every day and few ever know or care about their legacies. It’s a sad truth, but most Americans have lost the patriotism that comes with fighting a war in a foreign land…most just brush it under the rug and forget completely about it all. This is not how it should be, hopefully one day things change and we give respect to the men and women who fight for our freedom! The lead single, “Infected”, recently had a video released for it, as well as being released on iTunes. It’s a track about watching someone you once loved or respected getting infected by the lies, filth and greed that the world has to offer. This has turned that person into a pariah of sorts and they have only themselves to blame as you laugh while they get what’s coming to them. The video is a very creepy, yet interesting take on this. It depicts the band escaping from an asylum, while others are oblivious to their efforts. I can go on and on, describing every track, but I think some surprises should be left for the listener, so I will just say this, the lyrical content in this album is some of the best and most captivating to date.
Instrumentation: In terms of instrumentals, every member of the band has stepped their game up for this release. The harmonies in this album are what truly entrance the listener, though. The guitar parts are groove-ridden and the album almost has a nu-metal feel to it, which may turn some people off, but it shouldn’t because the band have embraced a sound that truly fits who they are. This album definitely shows a darker side of ESTK and it will be fun to hear these songs live once they start touring in support of the album. The transitions between each song are flawless and make for an experience, rather than a listen, something that few bands manage to achieve these days.
Overall: Being a fan of the band prior to listening to this album, it’s safe to assume that I was going to enjoy “Masks”, but with change comes skepticism. Exactly HOW different is the band’s sound going to be? Will there will be new elements added or will they stick to what they know? All the doubts were laid to rest upon my first spin of the record though and, trust me when I say, this album will compete for top album of 2013 for many listeners. Don’t just take my word for it though, listen to ESTK unveil their “masks” and pull you to the dark side….you’ll realize that you never thought bad could feel this good! “Masks” hits shelves on September 17th, through Century Media Records!