Thine Eyes Bleed

In the Wake of Separation

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The temptation is certainly strong, but one should try not to look down upon Canadian neo-thrashers Thine Eyes Bleed just because they were founded by a former guitar tech of atrocious nu-metal band Kittie -- not least because their 2005 debut, In the Wake of Separation, is already far superior to any of that group's pathetic albums. In fact, the manic flurry of opener "Cold Victim" and its slightly less frantic and more involved (arrangement-wise) followers, "Without Warning" and "And Since Forgotten," prove quite impressive by any standards. Four songs in, this deathly thrash barrage is finally snapped when "Live to Die" breaks off into a slower passage, capped by the disc's first use of clean vocals; then it's back to the races with the absolutely pummeling "Corpse You Up." Through them all, frontman Justin Wolfe contributes another layer of intensity with his ragged screeching, but, as is the case with so many neo-thrash hopefuls, once the initial excitement of hearing such fast and furious music abates, one finds it hard to remember anything all that special about the songs. This is particularly true of this album's final four tracks -- that's right, only four more numbers for a spare total of nine, and barely over 36 minutes of music. That last characteristic denotes this as an obvious attempt on Thine Eyes Bleed's part to follow in the footsteps of earlier, 30-minute extreme metal classics such as Slayer's Reign in Blood, Entombed's Wolverine Blues, and At the Gates' Slaughter of the Soul -- none of which In the Wake of Separation even remotely compares to, in terms of songwriting or visionary substance. However, given a little more experience and time to develop their compositional chops, there's always hope for improvement on future efforts. And, for what it's worth, this is a whole lot better than Kittie!

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