Skepsis: Through the Eyes of the Dead Fans Can Relax!
If you’re a fan of Through the Eyes of the Dead – and I don’t mind telling you that I am – you were probably deeply worried about Skepsis, the band’s first album in more than two years. Hell, it’s 3/5ths of a different band now than it was when 2007’s excellent Malice was released! But you can relax: the album, which comes out today on Prosthetic, is a direct sequel to that record, both in style and quality.
TTEOTD get compared to The Black Dahlia Murder a lot, and it’s an apt comparison. Like that band, TTEOTD doesn’t seem interested in trying to reinvent the death metal wheel so much as they just wanna perfect it, and make music as brutal as they music they grew up loving. And, once again, they’ve by and large succeeded. The machine gun drums, the industrial strength drill riffs, the solos that are epic without being overly shredd-y – they’re all here in spades. If you want music to violently, repeatedly, and rhythmically stab people by, than you’re not gonna do much better than album highlights like “No Haven” “Siphonaptera From Within,” and “Defaced Reality.” If you liked Malice, there’s very little change you’re not going to enjoy Skepsis.
In fact, I guess the vision of founding guitarist Justin Longshore and/or remaining bassist Jake Ososkie must be pretty strong – how else to explain how little the new line-up has changed TTEOTD’s sound since Malice? If anything, Skepsis might just be a little too similar to its predecessor. The band self-produced this album, but Longshore and Ososkie clearly watched Erik Rutan closely when he manned the boards for Malice. You could tell me Rutan produced this album, too, and I’d probably believe you. Meanwhile, new vocalist Danny Rodriguez is capable of sounding eerily like Malice-era front man Nate Johnson – except with greater range. In addition to Johnson’s deep grunts, he can do higher-pitched screeches more in line with what Anthony Gunnells did on 2005’s Bloodlust. Rodriguez is to TTEOTD as we were told Dan Nelson was going to be Anthrax – the guy who will unite all the fans who can’t agree about which former vocalist was best.
So, the short version: we really had no reason to be worried! Let’s keep that in mind in case everyone but Longshore and Ososkie quits before the next album. I could live without the agita.