Through the Eyes of the Dead

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Skepsis Review

by Eduardo Rivadavia

Fans may well be wondering just who is captaining the ship for Through the Eyes of the Dead these days, as the respected deathcore-cum-technical death metal outfit unleash their third album, 2010's Skepsis, after losing three out of the five musicians responsible for 2007's sophomore effort, Malice. The easy answer is guitarist and last remaining founding member Justin Longshore, whose presence simultaneously accounts for the continued high standards achieved by each of those different albums (and respective lineups), while silencing critics who would cynically link the music's interchangeability with whoever happens to be performing it this weekend (particularly in the vocal category, where Cookie Monster stereotypes rule supreme). Nothing could be further from the truth, because since leaving behind the truly derivative and imitation-prone deathcore style heard on their first LP for the broader horizons afforded within the technical death metal realm, Through the Eyes of the Dead have proven themselves among the genre's most inventive American stylists, capable of grafting ear-catching melodies and riff sequences amid the Byzantine complexity of it all. Sure, the latter still restricts the band's appeal primarily to extreme metal musos, as keen on figuring out how the songs were played as enjoying them for pure entertainment value, but that's certainly nothing new at this stage of heavy metal's 40-year history, and still preferable to music created as violence for violence's sake, and catering to the mindless mosh pit mentality. In fact, mindless is the last word one can hang around Through the Eyes of the Dead's necks -- no matter whose necks are involved -- so long as Longshore remains at the helm, it seems.

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