"some music was meant to stay underground..."

Too Pure To Die - "Confess" (CD)

Too Pure To Die - "Confess" CD cover image

"Confess" track listing:

1. Confess
2. My Vow
3. Gotham City
4. Can I Live
5. Saving Grace
6. One True Thing
7. Define Irony
8. Rock Bottom
9. Omerta
10. Trial
11. Find My Way

Reviewed by on April 14, 2009

"Like most hardcore bands, Too Pure to Die keeps the music fast and focused."

Too Pure to Die hails from the same corn filled wasteland as Slipknot, and both bands share a musical heritage. Hardcore-based metal, gruff vocals, brief breakdowns, and groove filled songs are what drive both bands’ fury. Too Pure to Die put their own twist on Midwestern hardcore and nu metal on their third album “Confess.”

Like most hardcore bands Too Pure to Die keeps the music fast and focused. The 11 tracks on “Confess” clock in at just under 32 minutes. Despite the short run time each song is structured well and sounds like a complete composition. The songs groove on the strong bass of Chris Towning, the guitars and vocals layer on top well, and the breakdowns are fierce. Just when a song is getting old, it ends.

As a whole the band sounds great, owing much of that to the production of Jamey Jasta and Zeuss (Hatebreed, Munincipal Waste), with each instrument easily heard; the guitars are snappy, the bass really rolls, and vocalist Paul Zurlo is brutal and easily digested. Despite the general public preference for “No More Tears” style glossy production, this record may be too easy to listen to. Between the head-bopping grooves and excellent production, the album wouldn’t even turn heads in a quiet office. That’s probably not what the band was going for, as “Confess” could use more rough edges. Hardcore music should be this close to flying off the tracks.

The other element that really stands out is the clean sections. At some point in each song the band gets away from the heavy hardcore riffing and guttural yells and moves to a more mainstream style, complete with sing along moments and almost soaring guitars underneath. Every song has it, and sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t. The title track is done very well, with quick clean lines interspersed within the hardcore assault, giving a quick counterpoint to the brutality. “My Vow” misses however, as the clean sections are muddy and extraneous to the meat of the song.

The biggest drawback, however, is that the album just gets old. Each song is great on its own, but Too Pure to Die has developed their one trick for this album, the clean breaks, and that’s really all they have. The hardcore rips real good, but it isn’t anything new or different. The guitars crunch, the bass grooves, the vocals scream and the drums pound. But each song is the same tempo, with the same structure, and is written in the same key. The clean sections on each song aren’t enough to dig the music out from the repetitive nature of Too Pure to Die’s hardcore. The only time the listener perks up is when something unexpected happens, like the quick guitar solo on “One True Thing.” Unfortunately there are only a handful of these elements on the whole records.

There must be something to the band, as Too Pure to Die was signed out of obscurity by Trustkill Records, and vocalist Zurlo (formerly of Beyond All Reason) joined for this album specifically. But it doesn’t really show here; the music is really well done, but in the end it is all the same. Just like Iowa’s cornfields.

Highs: The hardcore is heavy and brutal.

Lows: The production and musical consistency is too much, leaving the album too even.

Bottom line: Unless you are a hardcore fan, just download the single.

Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls
2.5 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)