Jeremy Wurts – Guitar/Vocals
Trent Gibson – Guitar/Vocals
Gregory Sanzo – Bass
Carlos Salazar – Vocals
Mark Bolling – Drums
Before There Was Rosalyn is a Christian post-hardcore band from Houston, Texas, currently signed to Victory Records. The band was formed in the last days of 2004 and has toured nationally and extensively since 2006, landing a deal with Nashville Tennessee’s Indie Label Holdfast Records in early 2008.
The Architect – The architect washes in and states a Pantera inflection. The vocals are pretty strong and the lyrics are poignant. The mix is quite different considering the style of music as well, especially the drums and guitars, They remind me of the style in which Alice In Chains’ new record was produced upon. The song is fairly short, and never lingers on long enough to bore, but also showcases little development beyond standard structure. I fairly weak introduction musically, but lyrically is quite well crafted.
The Dustwalker – The combination of the riffs and vocals of the last song are a little tired here. I mean that in the literal sense, Carlos sounds a bit winded. The chorus is just plain awful. It sounds like they grabbed a 14 year old to come in and record that specific part. What I actually do not enjoy about this song is that while the lyrics are again, just fine, the song has no crescendo into anything interesting. Its more like a tired out formula for heavy music.
The Deceiver – As soon as this song comes my immediate thought was that they could have turned it down some, to build a tension. There are some pretty decent riffs, but as a guitar player, I feel some of this could have had some solos, because there are nice spots for it to work. I would like to hear a little more variety in the arrangement itself, because this is nearly a recycle of the Dustwalker. The drums sound cool as hell, although even on high quality headphones, it’s a bit too compressed, which is typical of modern music, in order to level out dynamics. But once that is relied upon too much you’ll noticed how much colder and digital the sound is.
The Adversary – I love the lyrics of this song. Now, I’m no bible pusher, but the way this modern version of ‘Shout at the devil’ comes off is just plain cool and makes for perfect heavy music, even if one cannot grasp the meaning or even make out the lyrics (They did include lyrics in the booklet!) I think they could have been more melodic, because the vocal styling is just too, well, unmelodic and more like yelling at one monotone voice.
The Belladonnamyth – At the opening of Belladonna myth, I was hopeful, it actually made me think of some of the things that made heavy music in the 80’s cool. This song came in a little on the heroic side of sonics. The guitarists definitely could have benefited from a less chopped up tone (due to a noise gate being turned up too much, chocking out notes and noise) and gave us a little something different to work with here. The riffs just aren’t memorable throughout the rest of the song and the pauses don’t create any sort of grab and release that would normally keep us waiting for more. The chorus is pretty cool. Whoever the female vocalist was definitely adds a VERY refreshing tonality to the piece..she made it much more listenable and her voice is actually a challenge to the rest of the band to develop the song into a more interesting path. They ended it well.
Der Weibliche Fuhrer – The opening had more of the cool sort of 80’s reverb on the drums, VERY reminiscent of Pantera and Alice in Chains. The room sounds big, full and present. The riffs kind of get a bit better, but they need thickening up and layering, as the guitarists is way too fond of single note riffs, without either a second guitarist or at least layering those guitars with heavy chods under the single note lines, it falls very weak. About 3:15 in, I start actually feeling something special musically. The guitar tones starts to turn into something defined, It’s hard to explain. The band as a whole goes into a classic 90’s metal, teeth grinding breakdown, although without any of the solos or the strength of the bands of yesterday.
Der Mannliche Fuhrer – VERY Pantera, Right down to the staccato, the double bass drumming and the half-time breakdowns. I must say even though its great they pay homage to this style, they come off a little too shy on it. If they used this formula more sparingly, it would breath more and be more effective. I don’t like when a song gives you everything at once, which bands like this tend to do. Ultimately, you just feel sort of winded instead of stimulated.
The Warrior – I love the little hidden name dropping in the first verses. The double bass drumming got a LOT more muscular in this track, which is refreshing for a change, normally those breakdowns are just too weak and too many to even pay attention to. The big shouts in the chorus are something different for today’s music. If they REALLY wanted to bring home the bacon though, the drummer needs to keep that vibe steady on the anthemic chorus, staying on the double speed hi-hat hits…it would’ve been badass. I really do enjoy the very stand up and shout vibe this album has to it, its assertive, and called for especially considering how weak other come off. I just wish they were less formulaic sounding and broke into more deep territory in the music. The lyrics are the highlight.
The Prophet – That first line ‘Oh Lord, there’s vultures everywhere threatening to tear my heart apart”is just spot-on. That’s a perfect description for America today. From every which way you have something ripping at your sanity, at your frame of mind. There’s an arpeggiated part of the song that really interesting, but what I dislike is that because its harmonized and gated, it sounds very stiff. Here’s the shitty part now, the calm down part of the track..where Carlos professes religious blah blah. Its get MADLY cheesy, but what I DO like is that for a change someone’s SINGING and the music showcases a ‘softer’ side. Tension and release, tension and release. Good play this time.
The Revealer – So far this is turning out to be the sonly song Im enjoying the most. The beginning somewhat reminds me of Linkin Park (Although I hate Linkin Park) The guitar tone on the onset sounds badass. Its artiulate and high gain at the same time, Crunchy yet juicy! YES YES. LOVE IT. More fine lyrics, but no deviance from the normal shouting for the sake of shouting. They really do need a more melodic singer if they want to get beyond this type of stuff. During one of the chorus a new voice appears, and GOD DOES IT SUCK. Someone make sure that guy never sets foot next to a microphone ever again.
The Deliverer – Here’s my problem with this song. Its serves little more purpose than any other song on the record. Lyrically it makes a good standpoint comparedto the others, as this is in fact a concept album of sorts, but it tugs my ear that musically, its just so weak for a final song. This is why I always state the importance of a sort of ideology of check and balances in the arrangements of an album. Each song must musically serve as the lynch pin to its given placement. Its must be lyrically and musically in perfect lockstep and must compliment the other track, yet while refreshing our ears and taking us into a new sonic landscape. This song fails to do such.
The Fuhrer is an unusual album. There are obviously the makings of what could be a fine band, but its bogged down by a lead singer who possesses fantastic lyrics but sings very little. Melody is thrown out the window and instead the whole hardcore thing is shoved down your throat. The sound of the record has very cool elements that I can relate to other bands I love, with the only suffering is that the guitars typicall are too choppy and fizzy sounding and the overall mix is too compressed at points. It can be a very digital sounding record. I don’t care if it IS hardcore or metal or whatever, things need to be organic sounding! But overall my BIGGEST complaint is that the songs run into each other too closely, there’s very little fresh ideas, and way too many ‘parts’, it fails to keep a steady groove and introduce that checks and balances system I spoke of earlier. Maybe next time….