December 14, 2005 | | 2

Scars of Tomorrow, The Horror of Realization

When I saw this album last month in the store it was adorned with a pretty large sticker proclaiming that it has a guest appearance by Alex Varkatzas (Atreyu). Right away you know the target audience that the record label is shooting for. Sticker aside, I decided to purchase it anyways, having enjoyed the band’s last album Rope Tied to the Trigger. That last album wasn’t anything hugely special, but it did have a decent metalcore base with a strong vocal delivery.

I can’t say for sure what I was expecting from this album. Maybe I was hoping for too much — some progression of some sort. What I purchased, instead, sounds like a rehashing of their last album. I mean, it sounds almost identical to every song on the Rope Tied to the Trigger. There are some minor differences, but not nearly enough to note any sort of progression in the band’s sound. Even with less clean vocals on Mike Milford’s part and some minor production additions to the album, the overall sound is pretty damned formulaic.

Track 1: The Constant Horror Of Reality. I like Milford’s vocal delivery. His range isn’t great, but his lower end growls and screams are pretty impressive. The music is played competently, but there is nothing new here for the listener. You would think that with a new album, the first track would set the stage for some sort of progress. Nope.

Track 2: The False Love In Lust. If anything, I guess the overall sound of this album is a bit darker than the previous. It’s nice to be known for a particular sound, but come on. Give us a little something different to keep us interested.

Track 3: Murderers And Madmen. More of the same metalcore.

Track 4: SSNova. This is probably the most enjoyable track on the album, only because it doesn’t fit the mold of the rest of it. It’s much slower and has some interesting atmospheric sections.

Track 5: The Hidden Grudge. So we come to the main selling point of this album. “The Hidden Grudge” features Alex Varkatzas from Atreyu. Great. Yippee. His appearance really adds nothing to this track to make it stand out. There’s a catchy chorus in this one, and it doesn’t even involve Varkatzas.

Track 6: The Marks Of Time. I could have sworn that this one was a rerecording of an older song. It would have gone over better if it was.

Track 7: The Unknown. This is one of the quicker paced songs on the album.

Track 8: 4Smith. Atmospheric, eerie guitar leads this one in and continues till the end. Add in some moody background synth and you have yourself an instrumental. It doesn’t really break up the flow of the record because you know that the next song is going to sound just like the last.

Track 9: This Autumn Is Bleeding. And we’re back to the formula after a pretty lackluster instrumental break.

Track 10: The Struggle. Lighter guitar starts off “The Struggle.” Then comes in the higher strung out notes. Oh wow, this sounds just like a couple songs off of Rope Tied to the Trigger.

Track 11: Onthe15. More atmospheric, moody guitars. And so we end this album off with some mopey instrumental. Classic.

For big fans of this bad, The Horror of Realization will be right up their alley. For the casual fan that needs a bit more, however, it’s no different from their previous work. The music is played well enough and the vocals are enjoyable. Unfortunately, for me, that’s not enough to make this anything but a mediocre release. Add in that damned big sticker touting Varkatzas’ small appearance in one song and you get the idea that even the record label isn’t that pleased with it. When there’s a need to pimp the small appearance of a member of one of your better selling acts, it can’t be a good sign.

Favorite Tracks:
The Unkown

Additional Notes: