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Review: Matt Marshall – I Renounce EP

Solo artist Matt Marshall has released a new EP by himself that will surely please fans of technical metalcore and similar genres. I Renounce has 5 tracks and runs about 19 minutes. Its available on iTunes, Youtube, and Bandcamp!

What stands out the most on I Renounce is how genuine it sounds. The music sounds like it is close to Matt Marshall’s heart and that he put emotion into each track. The best music is music that is a direct product of emotion, be it sad, happy, whatever. The first 3 tracks are a bit more somber and emotional than the remaining 2, but they all carry a deep sense of sincerity. For example, “Isolated” gets right into the meat of the song with the vocals being the main bearers of melancholy while the instruments portray some of the anger. Perhaps it’s anger of being sad all of the time, I don’t know, but I sense some anger and the guitar work portrays it well while also doing a slightly technical number. “This Agony” begins with a spoken word section about depression and I’m on the fence about it. I don’t like spoken word anywhere in my life and depression is a touchy and sensitive subject. At the same time I feel like it was handled appropriately. Naturally I would not have inserted it in the song, but okay. “This Agony” is not as interesting as the rest of I Renounce in a musical sense and I will place a good chunk of the blame on the vocals. There are some clean vocals here that I just don’t like. They don’t sound original and aren’t nearly as effective as the harsh vocals in every sense.

There are some parts of songs that remind me heavily of Erra, who I am a big fan of. I love when two or more guitars are utilized: one is playing a solid riff while the other is doing something technical and noodly. My favorite song is “Hearteater” for this reason and because it brings more heat than the others. There are cleans on this, but they fit so much more than on “This Agony.” There is a lot more to the song structure on “Hearteater” and it brings the end in a gentle and appropriate way. You can sense the end coming, complete with soulful solo and all.

I Renounce is a pretty decent EP. I didn’t love it, but I didn’t dislike it either. It is worth checking out, especially “Hearteater” and “Isolated.”

Rate: 7.3/10

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