REVIEW: Whose Hearts Were His - Tongues Like Knives (Single)

Genre: Melodic Death Metal/Metalcore
Label: Unsigned
Date of Release: March 18, 2014


Whose Hearts Were His is a solo project that was unraveled during early 2014 in Kansas City Missouri. It was founded by multi-instrumentalist Gabe Fry, who is currently a guitarist for Solace And Stable and the former guitarist for From The Shallows. The band has recently released a single entitled "Tongues Like Knives" from their EP that is to be unleashed later this year.

On the project's Facebook page, Fry describes this band's sound as one in which "grit meets grace," and this single definitely proves that claim. The aggressive vocal screams blended in with the energetic guitar work certainly appeal to the melodic deathcore genre, and the song is overall nicely written and composed. It holds a healthy amount of dynamic and vigor to keep the audience's intrigue, and has a good amount to show in terms of musicianship and structure.

As likable as this single is, however, there is one key element of it that could use some work: The mixing. Although the vocals and instruments sound crisp enough for this type of abrasive music, there's something about the production that sounds too compressed. In other words, it sort of seems like the track doesn't have quite enough resonance in it to truly immerse the listener. It could be that either the guitars sound a bit too quiet or the drums sound a bit too loud, but whatever the case, this song could use some more atmosphere.

Thankfully, though, this flaw is made up in that the biggest strength with this song is how multi-layered it is. Throughout its running time, the track manages to touch upon different genres without spreading itself too thin, such as melodic death metal, progressive metal, and hardcore. This alone adds much more depth to this piece than your run-of-the-mill melodic deathcore release, because it can appeal to a wider crowd in this way. Though not yet fully realized, there is enough diversity to draw various listeners in, but there's enough subtlety to it for the song to not feel jumbled or forced.

As a teaser for an upcoming debut album, "Tongues Like Knives" is a nice starter. It's well crafted and demonstrates strong instrumentation, and although the sound production is a bit lacking and is a tad distracting, it's nowhere near being a fatal detriment. Overall, judging from this single, things do seem to be looking well for the EP that's headed our way. If this band can somehow expand on reaching out to different genres without losing its identity, then you can expect something truly epic in the future.

Score: 7/10 (Solid)