RATING: (7 out of 10) RELEASE DATE: June 24th, 2011 LABEL: Independent REVIEWED ON: July 24th, 2011 REVIEWED BY: Eric MartinREVIEW
Me the Mountain, the six-piece metalcore outfit from San Jose, California, has truly put together a solid debut for an independent band with no previous history. It is often said that it is good to come out with guns blazing, and the band does just that with this ten-track full-length album entitled "SPEAK." MTM has thrown an impressive mix of cards on the table for someone who is looking for new talent that mimics the sounds of Underoath's "Disambiguation" and Haste the Day's "Attack of the Wolf King." Though musically comparable to these two albums, MTM is on their way to developing their own unique blend of metalcore, relying mostly on a perpetrated passion and emotion not often found in a market oversaturated by mediocre and underdeveloped August Burns Red ripoffs. Me the Mountain has musically set themselves apart by stepping away from the overused and predictable two-step-breakdown formula that dominated the scene for the last five years and by combining the heaviness, with a wall of melodic and well-structured lead guitar parts played by guitarists Brandon Wright and Taylor Lueders. Other members include Aaron Hook (bass) and Curtis Keen (synth).
Not only does the music make for an interesting listen but so do the vocals, brought to you by lead screamer Joe Knight and drummer/singer Taylor Morris. If you are going to give this record a try, I strongly suggest you download their lyrics as they are almost more important than the music itself, in my opinion. Common themes of self-observation, spiritual struggle, drought, and depravation give the listener an inside look into the lyricist's mind; his internal struggle to stay the path; and his longing for an unmistakable deliverance, the gift of salvation. MTM has an undeniable passion for their creator and for their music.
The only thing separating Me the Mountain from their predecessors is the production on the album. Don't get me wrong: the record sounds pretty good, but it was done on a small independent budget and recorded in a small independent studio, which you can't blame a band of their size for doing. It still punches you in the gut at times, but they definitely need a little fine tuning with tones. As far as their songwriting, it is mostly very interesting, but at times you can really tell how influenced they are by Underoath, drawing similarities--almost too closely--to the record "Disambiguation." Some of the other songs seem a little rushed and underdeveloped, but mostly show tremendous potential for a young band with not a lot of experience. With some time on the road, a major label budget, and a little producing from someone who is in the industry, Me The Mountain will be well on their way to putting another niche on the wall of Christian metal.
A few standout tracks include the title track, "Speak" (which you can download for free off their Facebook), "Too Many Times Before," and my personal favorite "Claw and Fang."
Overall: If you are looking for some real loud music to fill your metalcore fix, I would definitely recommend this record for its genuineness, lyrics, and loud guitars. I would also suggest you turn it up to eleven.