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Every Time I Die - "Gutter Phenomenon" (CD)

Every Time I Die - "Gutter Phenomenon" CD cover image

Reviewed by on October 16, 2005

"such an eclectic album that it is hard to sum up in terms of musical style"

Every Time I Die's "Gutter Phenomenon" is such an eclectic album that it is hard to sum up in terms of musical style. In the course of eleven tracks, they cover various sounds that combine metalcore elements with southern rock style riffs, catchy hooks, clean vocals, shouting and Deftones-style emo influenced singing. While the overall pace of the album is moderately fast in a hardcore sense, each song contains a number of tempo changes, keeping things interesting throughout. With that in mind, this is not a love at first listen album. It took several listens before I warmed up to "Gutter Phenomenon" and discovered which songs I enjoyed most and exactly what I did and didn't like about the album.

Most of the album is fast paced and with screaming - still somewhat typical metalcore fare despite the variety of other influences - but the emo-sounding clean vocals could be a turn-off to many. The album opens with a fairly fast and short song, "Apocalypse Now and Then," which is one of the better tracks at not having too many change-ups and mixing screaming with a melodic singing reminiscent of Chino Moreno of the Deftones. The second track, "Kill The Music," isn't one of my favorites but has a nice little groove and breakdown toward the end. Other standouts include the first single, "Guitarred and Feathered," as well as "Tusk and Temper" and "Gloom and How It Gets That Way," which are probably the most metalcore sounding of them all, with a good pace and some good grooves and the latter two being the heaviest songs on the album. The New Black has a catchy Southern hook and medium pace, and is a nice change of pace right in the middle of the album as well.

Overall, Every Time I Die's "Gutter Phenomenon" is good album that mixes a lot of different sounds that you don't hear mixed often. In the end, the vast amount of changeups and mixing of screaming and singing may be to the band's disadvantage. There are a number of songs in which I find myself liking parts, but not the entire song. Yet they successfully pull this effect off on many others. "Gutter Phenomenon" is a hard sell on a hands-down recommendation, but I definitely recommend checking it out to see for yourself if you like it or not.

Highs: Some good metalcore with lots of variety and change-ups

Lows: Emo-style singing and too many change-ups break up the heaviness of some songs

Bottom line: A good metalcore album that you have to check out for yourself

Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls
3.5 out of 5 skulls

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)