Heart Of A Coward "Deliverance"

While it may be impossible to top Severance, it's obvious Heart of a Coward are on the trails of headliners Parkway Drive and August Burns Red. Although Deliverance carries the group to a more polished approach, it's obvious this is no longer the same band that we uncovered back in 2009 when Dead Sea made such a lasting impact. Sure the band was much younger back then, but those tongue in cheek lyrics and youthful angst could have evolved into something more prevalent and creative here. With bands struggling to survive out in the wild, it's understandable why they would want to market their product to a wider audience and be perfectly vague in their approach, but sometimes it leaves the final meal needing a little more seasoning. Although the djent fad came and went and is now a little more subtle in many bands like Tesseract, Monuments, Periphery and HOAC included, it's nice to see it implemented a little more creatively than it had been when it initially rolled out and flooded the metal masses a few years back. "Skeletal I" brings to mind the melodic excellence that dominated their prior release. But although these melodies on Deliverance are intense, and the album as a whole is incredible, it fails to deliver anything like what we found in tracks like "Distance," which personally completely blew me away. Instead the current angle is presented in tracks like "Mouth of Madness" that although very original and captivating sounds a little forced, a little like post Vol. 3 era Slipknot, and falls short from their true potential. 

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