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Greetings! My name is Matthew, and I love to listen to all types of metal. I'm a high school English teacher and aspiring writer. I also write reviews for the Metal Utopia webzine!

Friday, February 24, 2012

See the Light - "Tepid" Review

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See the Light - Tepid
Come and Live! Records
Genre:  Hardcore/deathcore

Overall Rating:   6.5 out of 10.0

1. Lifeless (2:37)
2. Decay (4:12)
3. Drench (3:58)
4. Disconnect: The Desirable (2:25)
5. Malcontent (3:45)
6. Rise (3:56)
7. Disconnect: Breathe (3:49)
8. Vacant (5:21)
9. Disconnect: The Outcry (3:10)

See the Light has been around for a good while but went on a sort of hiatus since writing their last material.  Now they are back in the seat and driving full force, ready to stun the masses with their intriguing brand of metal.  First things first:  the band has taken a different direction with their music.  The keyboards are gone, and so are most of the clean vocals.  But I'm not going to try to compare then based on what they've done.  I'm going to focus instead on what they're doing now.  Overall the album is set out in a fairly basic, time-tested formula:  driving, heavy songs are interspersed with more melodic, slower songs. 

The Disconnect series of songs serve to give the listener a breather.  However, they fail in one regard.  They're far too similar.  If you put each of these three songs up against each other and compare them, you'll notice that they have the exact same formula.  And I'm not sure if ending with one of these was the best thing the band could have done.  On the rest of the album, there's a lot of passionate hardcore music.  While the band does venture into the deathcore realm a fair bit, it seems that they are moving towards a more traditional hardcore-type style.  The guitar work on the album is quite good.  At many points I was reminded of As Hell Retreats' album Volition - short, calculated riffs are the standard recipe here. 

However, there are some critiques that I'd like to offer up.  The bass seems all but buried.  They could certainly have brought it out more.  And while there are slow songs and fast songs on the album, I think that See the Light doesn't necessarily have to use one over the other when they can combine them.  Have a slow section lead up to a heavier section.  It makes the listener pay attention.  As it is the album flow doesn't seem to work 100%.  Quite frankly, sometimes there seemed to be a disconnect between songs (sorry for the pun, I'm only human).

 But the greatest thing that See the Light has going for them is their passion.  You can tell that they care about their music and especially their message:  making Christ known to the heavy metal community.  Oh, and the album artwork is pretty sweet.  So those are my thoughts on Tepid.  Below is a breakdown by track.  I hope you enjoy it!

 Lifeless begins with an ominous, almost science-fiction sounding introduction that swells into a simple drum beat and passionate screaming.   The guitars and bass are chug-chug chugging along beneath this and it makes for an interesting opener.

The song Decay starts off with some technical riffs and nasty breakdowns.  The guitars overwhelm the senses with staccato notes and drive the song forward.  Chords swell together and come to a point towards the end of the song.

Melodic guitar riffs galore!  Drench showcases a very different feel for the band.  Layers of dissonance couple with precise drumming to make the song memorable.  There's also some cool singing that's not quite singing or screaming (think Norma Jean).  This song destroys.

Disconnect: Desirable features screaming stapled to an atmospheric background.  It brings back memories of the passionate vocals on previous releases and is a nice break from the metal chaos offered up so far.

After such a melodic song I felt myself drifting for just a moment...then BAM!  Malcontent lets in with a furious guitar line that snaps the listener right back into the fray.   The breakdowns in this song are fairly generic and bring it down a bit, though.  And that one guitar riff mid-song sounds very familiar, but I can't place it...

The down-tuned guitars on Rise are pretty amazing.  The band once again features that short, precise riffing that I mentioned earlier.  They put a lot of thought into this song; the structure is laid out nicely and yelling is interspersed with screaming.

Disconnect: Breathe is another melodic song.  It's passionate, but I'm not sure if it offers anything different than the other Disconnect song.  But it's a great statement of the band's faith and mission:  "We long for the Living God. We call for the Kingdom's breath.  Oh Mighty One!"

When I listen to Vacant I get the impression of a largemouth bass charging a school of fry, separating one from the group, and clamping its mouth shut around it.  What I mean to say is that this song is aggressive.  The guitar playing is just sick.  And that chord change towards the middle of the song...oh my!  This is See the Light at its fullest potential.

Another Disconnect song...I think we've got the formula down by now.  Disconnect: The Outcry ends the record with passion and purpose.  Spoken words signal the final closure.  I'm not sure if I would have ended the album this way - typically, the listener needs something more aggressive to hold their attention.  But overall it works fairly well.


How did I come up with my rating?  Well, I have this little scale that isn't technical at all, but merely shows how I enjoy the album.

1-2 (Poor - throw it in the trash, give it to your dog to chew on)
3-4 (Not very good, probably a waste of money - but there's been worse)
5-6 (Average, but not exactly knocking my socks off)
7-8 (Pretty darn good.  The band's got what it takes to be a favorite of mine)
9-9.9 (Excellent.  Will be on repeat for a very long time)
10.0 (Perfect rating.  Doesn't really exist)

Let me know what you think!


  1. I really agree with your 6.5 rating and your critiques, and doing the review talking about what they're doing now and not comparing it to their other works was a good move. I was thinking where I have heard the type of riffs while listening, and you found it: As Hell Retreats. That really cleared it up for me.

    Personally, this album really let me down - I'm not one for hardcore in the first place (guitars, yelled vocals), but it was decent. The lyrics really caught me off guard as well - they're all "me" based, like in the book of Psalms, crying out to God, but with one catch: There's nothing about the praise to God and how He will come and make everything right. Granted, a lot of Christian bands also focus on the "me" aspect of things in their lyrics, kinda leaving the listener with a depressed outlook as he continues to cry out for more of God, forgetting God's power.

    I'm kinda sad I bought the album before checking it out online, but I'm just looking at it like I'm paying them for their older material I didn't buy. All that being said, regardless of anything they've put out or will put out, they have that driving sense of passion to reveal God to the world, and must be applauded and supported for that.

    You do your reviews in a really nice format by the way. Keep it up! :D

    1. Thanks for your input! You have an interesting point about the lyrics. I hadn't thought of it that way, but you're quite right.