Clocking in over a decade of material consisting of five full-length LPs, Evergeen Terrace are no strangers to the metalcore scene. With four years without a body of work for their fans to get their teeth around, ‘Dead Horses’ is welcomed with some anticipation for intense guitars and vocals rooted in both harmony and abrasive screams. Though that anticipation is acknowledged, it unfortunately isn’t executed enough to justify in the end.
Though this LP sees Evergeen Terrace in new territory label wise and the band return after a four year wait, ‘Dead Horses’ fails to offer anything exciting. With a overly familiar formula of sing along choruses merged with numerous breakdowns and progressive chord-lead rhythms, the LP becomes stagnated and frustrating in areas. An aspect which is unfortunate, considering the calibre that Evergreen Terrace has developed over the years.
Although interest value may be low, Evergeen Terrace have been around too long to not create some solid individual tracks. Songs such as ‘When You Are Born In The Gutter, You End Up In The Port’ add some excitement with fast pace filled guitars and a repetitive hook, “searching for daylight, searching for daylight”. However, tracks of this calibre unfortunately fail to crop up often enough. Other tracks, such as ‘That Dog’ll Hunt’ and ‘Fortunate Ones’, make a valiant effort to up the ante, but fall short of the mark. Due to this, the listener is left registering one or two catchy choruses whilst rejecting many due to sheer familiarity.
Perhaps the main problem with Evergreen Terrace‘s latest effort is the complete lack of inspiration within the record. Each track seems to only confirm that the band is short of ideas this time around. The album lacks freshness and provoking ideas that would allow Evergreen Terrace to remain at the forefront of consistency.
All in all, ‘Dead Horses’ is an unfortunate addition to the Evergreen Terrace catalogue. Even with everything in place, the new label and the time lapse in record release, the band just couldn’t hit the nail on the head with this LP. Though the energy is there and the willingness to write music is present, the ideas certainly didn’t flourish or even turn up at all.
‘Dead Horses’ is a real disappointment for a band of this calibre, but surely it will be easy to brush aside when it comes to spinning the other ten years worth of material.
Written by Calv Robinson