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This Is My Heart

  • reviewed by Russ Breimeier Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2008 1 May
This Is My Heart
Sounds like … hard rock and hardcore metal in the same vein as Thousand Foot Krutch and Linkin Park, with similarities to Red, Disciple, Seventh Day Slumber, Pillar, and UnderoathAt a glance … Since October's This Is My Heart is a pretty good debut as far as melodic hardcore goes, though most of the songs sound interchangeable with one anotherTrack Listing Emily My Heart Beautiful Disaster In This Moment Guilty World to Me Live to Die Follow Me Down Waiting Everything Part of Me

Since October is one of the loudest and overtly spiritual bands signed by Tooth & Nail Records—so much so, it's surprising they weren't added to the label's hardcore (Solid State) or Christian industry (BEC Recordings) imprints. The thinking is likely that this Bradenton, Florida, band is more accessible and marketable than either niche, even though they're open with their religious convictions and heavier than the average rock band.

To the credit of Since October, they rock hard very convincingly throughout their national debut, from the raw guitars and bass of "Everything" to the atypical rhythm of "World to Me." But then, melodic hard rock is the forte of producer Travis Wyrick (Pillar, P.O.D.), and two of the songs on This Is My Heart were co-written and co-produced by P.O.D. guitarist Marcos Curiel. As such, Since October lands somewhere between the more intense hardcore of Underoath or Demon Hunter and the pop-metal of Thousand Foot Krutch or Disciple—the songs are driven by melody, but there's plenty of screaming too. Even the romantic ballad "In This Moment" retains its metal edge, though "Waiting" treads into power ballad territory more reminiscent of Skillet.

Since October also does well expressing brokenness and the need for salvation without relying on clichés or vague lyricism. The thunderous single "Disaster" gives thanks for the hard times that make us stronger, while "Follow Me Down" struggles with overcoming pride. "Guilty" demonstrates contrition and "Beautiful" refers to how God views us despite our incompleteness. The most spiritually penetrating track is "Live to Die," which concisely explains that perfection is unattainable without the forgiveness and new life found through Jesus.

That said, not every track communicates clearly. "Part of Me" vaguely touches on regrets in failing to measure up (to what?), and "Everything" copes with a damaged relationship (with who?). Then there's the small matter of repetition—each three-minute heavy rocker is generally interchangeable on this album. Which of course means if you love one song, you'll love them all; but if you're unimpressed with the radio single, don't bother. Still, Since October gets the job done, offering melodic hardcore that's clearly derived from their faith while also relating realistically to their pains.

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