There is a classic saying that both motivates and plagues every musician across the land in this day and age. “If you don’t do it differently, at least do it better than everybody else.” Some can interpret this as an easy way out of creativity if you just squash the competition, while others see it as comfort for playing what they love. Whatever way, it must be respected. Whimsical shit aside, today we’re taking a look at Montreal Metalcore hopefuls in Eyes of Sinners and their new record, Empty Hands.
Eyes of Sinners sit on the more Hardcore end of what is considered today’s Metalcore shit spectrum. Common tones and patterns identify this version of a broad style, most of which can be found in a traditional hardcore band with the difference being the inflection of the song that gives it a more “Metal” vibe. A great many of the Metalcore scene’s heavy weight contenders go this route, thus it would only make sense that locals from across the globe would want to follow suit and try to be the next flag holder of angst and breakdowns. Eyes of Sinners are no different and, although over the years I’ve had my qualms with what I perceive as a lack of originality, I still can’t take away the fact that these dudes have heart and are definitely pushing to the best of their ability.
Empty Hands is a ten song, thirty-eight minute and one-second long series of free throws thrown like three pointers. There’s a ton of heart in these songs, the angst runs high and there’s no debating that the thought put behind the writing is sincere. Notable moments include tracks like opener “The Inkwell” and “Demagogue” for their liveliness if nothing else. These are catchy tracks that any fan of the genre could really dig their claws into. Instrumental track “Clarity” is what mostly caught my attention as it was a well-needed break from the overall vibe and was very well put together for a band that delves mostly into simplicity. A particular point of deja vu comes from the more ballad type of tracks such as “Portrait” which feels like a cross between Vanna‘s “Please Stay” and The Ghost Inside‘s “White Light.”
Overall, this is a great sounding record, and if I hadn’t been to more concerts than some people have had hot meals, there’s a high chance that Empty Hands would probably jingle my bells a little rougher (phrasing totally fucking intended). The engineering behind the record is solid but at times dry as a Thanksgiving turkey. The composition and track listing was far from careless, but where it all comes down to is the cardinal rule: “is it different or is it better than what everyone else is doing? Unfortunately, I can’t say it’s either, but I would also be a cunt to say that there isn’t a constant growth from these cats and I truly do look forward to future works. There’s an honest effort, and no one should be shat on just because I notice some heavy influences. Keep cracking, dudes, your niche will swallow you in time.
Written by Jason Greenberg
*edited by Danielle Kenedy