For political junkies, a name like Single Bullet Theory has a way of jumping out at you. The SBT is an intriguing (if far-fetched) theory of moderate/centrist Republican Arlen Specter, the four-term Pennsylvania senator who has alleged that President John F. Kennedy and former Texas Govenor John Connally were struck by the same bullet in 1963. And the alternative metal band Single Bullet Theory just happens to be from Philadelphia, which is Specter's stomping ground. Creatively, the band's second album, Behind Eyes of Hatred, is a step forward for the Philly residents -- and it is somewhat of a departure from their previous effort, Route 666. While Route 666 offered some melodic passages, the album was primarily an exercise in sensory assault; on Behind Eyes of Hatred, melody is a much higher priority. Melody was really an afterthought on Route 666, but this time, it is a lot more than an afterthought -- it is a vital, essential part of the picture. Route 666 was much more unforgiving, which isn't to say that Behind Eyes of Hatred (which was produced by James Murphy) is easy listening by any means. Single Bullet Theory can still be quite brutal, but instead of engaging in volume for the sake of volume, they seek to integrate brutality and melody this time. Route 666 was essentially metalcore, whereas Behind Eyes of Hatred is an alternative metal disc that successfully incorporates thrash, hardcore, and punk as well as power metal -- and that appreciation of classic power metal asserts itself on original material as well as a cover of Metal Church's "Badlands." Route 666 was a decent, if limited, debut, but all things considered, Behind Eyes of Hatred is a more memorable outing for the Philly-based headbangers.
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AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson
Track Listing - Disc 1