Originally written by Tim Pigeon
On Broken Wings is a group that lends credibility to the reputation of Moshachusetts. This Boston-based group certainly brings the mosh, delivered via a well-tread form of metalcore laden with breakdowns that are as slow and thick as molasses. Complement that with hoarsely-shouted vocals and basic groove riffs and you’ve got a formula that is as effective as it is common nowadays.
They are similar to bands like Bury Your Dead and Since the Flood, although they trudge along at a slower pace than those two. Old-school hardcore chord progressions pop up here and there, in addition to fleeting death metal influences. The production is tilted towards the low end, which is just as well, as the two guitarists rarely ever leave the top few strings.
Johnathon Blake’s bark is a perfect match for his band, with a scorched-throat delivery. Unfortunately, on “More Than Life” he experiments with a clean vocal chorus, which sounds as out of place as an R&B band on the Ozzfest. (oh, wait…) He tries this again in a limited dose on “Tongue in Teeth” and it turns out much better, as here the mood of the song is much more conducive to it. This is one of the best songs on It’s All a Long Goodbye. “Frozen Over” is another fun track, especially for the ten seconds that they go brutal death metal, complete with guttural growls.
While I can’t deny that certain parts of this album had my head bobbing to the primal riffs, I think this band is capable of more. The super-slow parts are fine in small doses, but On Broken Wings relies too much on them for my liking. When they speed it up, they can compete with the BYD’s andIntegrity’s of the hardcore world. At the moment, I have to rank them a notch below those bands in the core hierarchy, although I’m sure thatOBW’s live shows are quite a spectacle.