The atmosphere is heavy and sweaty. It’s 2011 and I’m making my way in and out of the main room to the Glass House in Pomona, CA. It’s Facedown Fest – a celebration of Facedown Records, ministry and family. For me, this is my first time in attendance here. A hurricane of heavy breakdowns and a tornado of mosh pits suddenly stop. Just a few notes play out from the speakers, the entire room is at a stand still. The band announces that they are My Epic from North Carolina and the lyrics that they are singing are simple. “My God I am not, but You are.” Consider my attention grabbed. Since that moment, my eyes and ears have continuously been tuned to this band. Over the years, they’ve delivered full lengths and EPs alike. Sounds ranging from rock to acoustic to the softer side of the genre.
Last year’s release of Ultraviolet was intended to be a dual release. Giving listeners the reality of a full length record split in two with the sounds being segregated. Ultraviolet is a record that plays a bit softer than the rest of the band’s catalog, yet it never disappoints. A year later, we arrive at the follow-up to the heavy and experimental sounds of Violence.
Violence is a seven track EP from the band that offers up some more nostalgic sounds. While also thrusting them into new arenas of sound that they have yet to set foot in. Violence offers up some more experimental tracks in “Spit & Blood” & “Tsuneni”. Both tracks are electric based with the use of what sounds like auto tune or effects. “Spit & Blood” has this build-up that leads listeners believe that it’s building to something but that something never comes. Almost as if it could be building to fade right into the next track, “Black Light”. Alas, sadly it doesn’t and leaves the track as one of the weaker on the record. “Tsuneni” on the other hand plays like a B-side to Queen’s Flash Gordon days. It carries that arena feel to it and even has a bit of a hip hop feel. It’s certainly the most unique track on the record.
Then on the flip side of the electronic, you have the heavy and brutal. This could be the heaviest music that the boys of My Epic have ever produced. The previously mentioned “Black Light” is a perfect example of that. It’s brutal, heavy and raw – in all the ways that perfection can strike. There’s a nature to it that builds beautifully from the exchange of chorus to verse to bridge – progressively beautifully. Definitely one of the strongest songs on Violence. Violence also ushers in a sense of nostalgia for older fans of the band. Those that have been the guys since the release of I Am Undone, their first album released all the way back in 2008. “Bloody Angles”, the album opener, feels like a throwback to I Am Undone. It’s something familiar, yet something raw & passionate. The bridge, the build-up and the opening bass line of the song craft a unique listening experience. “Spit it Out” is another throwback to the band’s 2010 release, Yet. Still crafting that heavy nature, it comes equipped with a catchy tune and gang vocals that provide an anthem-esque experience.
Overall, My Epic’s Violence, is an impressive feat for the band. Managing to balance a heavy and raw sound with experimental and electronic songs – Violence is an amazing listening experience. Thanks to tracks like “Bloody Angeles” & “Spit It Out” – the band returns to their humble beginnings by delivering a raw sound that hasn’t been heard since 2010’s Yet. Though, while respectable, the tracks with electronic nature feel out of place. “Tsuneni” & “Spit & Blood” feel out of place on the record. Still, Violence is a brutal return to form that excites me to see where My Epic will progress to next.
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