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Music Review: Till We Die – Pressing On

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Till We Die is a band with a decent name that doesn't really deliver the goods. They are another one of those screamo style rock acts that looks to blend soft melodic sections with heavier, more hardcore inspired parts. The problem is that there are many bands out there that do it better. Sure, they have some nice and crunchy guitars and some decent drums, but they are better than the sum of their parts.

Pressing On is the debut CD from this Massachusetts based four-piece. It has an enticingly sparse cover design, a field of black with the band's skull and angel wings logo with their band name around it and the album title below. It is nice in its simplicity, promising something with a harder edge, but edge that features a softer side. Once you open the case and put the disk in, you will discover that the impressions of the cover were correct. Melody coexists with heavy, both in pretty much equal proportions to each other.

Till We Die is a band that does show a decent amount of promise, but they just aren't quite ready for primetime. The recording doesn't do them any favors, as it sounds like a local demo CD. The drums are buried in the mix and lacks much in dynamics. It's rather awkward listening to it. The mix is not their fault, I will try not to hold it against them, but a good mix could have gone a long way to ma them sound better as a band.

Something that really didn't work for me was the way the melodic and hardcore sides blended, or rather failed to blend. It was like there was an on/off switch, except rather than say on/off it said melodic/heavy. The two elements never come together on any middle ground; they were either off to the heavy side of life, or they were softer and more melodic. The same structure repeats for much of the length of the album, never offering much in the way of structural variety, or any coming together of the two sides.

It was a sound that has multiple personality disorder, or maybe it's more manic/depressive, whatever the case, it never quite works. Then there is their vocalist, Mitty, in many of the songs he sounds off, like he isn't trying or doesn't quite have what it takes. There are some notes that sound flat, and some of the delivery lacks the conviction of the emotion being conveyed. There is something to his voice that could be good. He has a very clean side and a pretty good scream, he just needs a bit more focus. On the otherside, the highlights are definitely Joe DeMarco on guitar and Dave Stewart on drums. Both of these guys have pretty good styles and offer up interesting passages.

The album opens with the lackluster "Ride" before moving onto the equally blase "Slave." The structure repeats through most of the disk, and if you can last until the end, you will be in for a surprise, as Pressing On closes with their two best songs, and a promise of what they could possibly do. First is "Ting" which opens with an interesting bass intro that sounds a bit clocklike before moving into a heavy grinding riff with moments that border on a Tool styled dirge. It has a great groove and is better than anything else thus far. That is followed by "Apology" that opens with a soft guitar intro and actually feels like there is genuine emotion behind it. So, if you can make it, you may actually like the way it closes.

Bottomline. There are many bands that are in this style that do it much better, but I have a feeling they have a wild live show, sadly it is not replicated here. With a poor mix, a mediocre singer, and only two truly good songs, I have a hard time recommending them, but I would keep a sideways eye on what they do down the line.

Not Recommended.

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About Draven99

  • chelsea =]

    ahh wow i totally don’t agree. they are amazing and so is the cd. they are hardworking and they have come very far. maybe you should learn a thing or two about good music before you comment it. k thanks.

  • http://draven99.blogspot.com Chris Beaumont

    Well, guess we’ll just have to agree to disagree.
    “maybe you should learn a thing or two about good music before you comment it” Right back atcha.
    Well, not really, I will respect your disagreement if not your assessment.

  • Chelsea =]

    i do know a thing or two about music, i dont try to critique bands, i just listen to whats good. i don’t listen for flaws, thats not what the music is made for. that’s something you should work on =]

  • http://draven99.blogspot.com Chris Beaumont

    Question, why do you read reviews then? I like listening to what is good as well, but I don’t know that until I listen to it. If you want to know what I like, you can check out other reviews on the site.

  • Jenn

    First I’ll say I found this by mistake. I chose to read it thinking it’d be something positive because I really didn’t think anybody would have anything negitive to say about the CD. Maybe it’s something you need to listen to more then once to get into it but at least commend the efforts these guys are putting forth. A lot of the songs are catchy and should be given a better review then what you’ve put out there for others to read.

    Did you actually listen to this CD or just once?

  • http://draven99.blogspot.com Chris Beaumont

    Everything I review I listen to more than once. I also realize that every band has its fans. I am probably a fan of many bands that you don’t like and would disagree with my positive reviews for. Everyone is going to have an opinion on what they listen to. This is mine, which is no less valid than yours. In the end I do not feel I was being mean or unfair to them, and the last two songs are quite good, if they are able to do more like that….

    Thank you for taking the time to read it.

  • MSIMONE

    If you like different music than we might like, then why say something bad, if its not your type of music. Everyone likes different kinds of music, why do we care what you think? and what makes you so good and special to have a criticism about this band or any other band? Its like me telling my parents that Led Zeppelin sucks, but im ignorant about the fact that its a different generation or music.

  • http://draven99.blogspot.com Chris Beaumont

    “why do we care what you think?”
    Exactly. but here you are, you took the time to read, so you must at least bhe curious. I read a lot of reviews for albums and band and movies that I like that had the polar opposite reaction that I did. It’s just the way it is.

    “what makes you so good and special”
    Nothing. I just have an opinion, I enjoy writing, and I share it.

    I enjoy all types of music, and within every type there are good bands, there are bad bands, and there are bands in the middle.

    “Its like me telling my parents that Led Zeppelin sucks”
    Not really. Now, if you say you don’t like them and proceed to back it up with reasons why you don’t like them, then that is fine.

    You will notice I didn’t just say “they suck” that would have been a much shorter review, and would carry no weight as there was no basis for it.

  • AMY

    The only thing I have to say is that these guys are the hardest working guys I know. They have busted their butts to make this cd. They have had alot of setbacks and alot of bad things happen to them in the past few years. Especially Mitty. He was in a very bad car accident last summer and had to retrain his voice to be able to sing again. So you may not think his voice is the best, but at least there is a reason why. This is only their first cd of many I hope, nobody gets it perfect on the first try. This is coming from someone who knows all of these guys personally. I am Mitty’s sister. I never really listened to this type of music. In fact I can’t stand it, but he’s my brother and I support him.

    love ya Mitty, Joe, Mike and Drummer Dave

  • AMY

    The only thing I have to say is that these guys are the hardest working guys I know. They have busted their butts to make this cd. They have had alot of setbacks and alot of bad things happen to them in the past few years. Especially Mitty. He was in a very bad car accident last summer and had to retrain his voice to be able to sing again. So you may not think his voice is the best, but at least there is a reason why. This is only their first cd of many I hope, nobody gets it perfect on the first try. This is coming from someone who knows all of these guys personally. I am Mitty’s sister. I never really listened to this type of music. In fact I can’t stand it, but he’s my brother and I support him.

    love ya Mitty, Joe, Mike and Drummer Dave

  • Brian aka Guppusmaximus

    If people & bands can’t take constructive criticism, then how will you ever fix your weaknesses? Chris gave an un-biased review based on his love for all things metal. He didn’t insult the band & he actually liked a couple songs. This band needs alot of work and to push a cd that is amateur only puts a sour taste in the Metal fans mouth. I’m sure they worked real hard and I’m sorry to hear about anyone being in a car accident but that doesn’t change what people want to hear.
    Yes, everyone likes what they like but here in MA. we don’t need anymore Stained/Godsmack crap.
    Musicians need to step up & release kick ass material because right now the US is getting destroyed in the Metal scene with the exception of a few bands.

    My review would’ve been the short one…They Suck. But, I don’t waste my time reviewing crap I can’t stand!!

  • Daniela

    I saw “Till We Die” last night at Hampton Beach Club Casino. I personally thought they were the best band that played. I am surprised to find such a negative review about them, but then again upon reading the review through the review is about their CD(Which I bought). I will deifnately see them again, their live show ROCKS!!

  • tristan jabre

    hey you guys rock i remember going to see u guys play all the time as leviticus i used to date the guiterist cousin they rock

  • Big Jim

    I think Chris nailed this right on the head. I have listened to the cd a few times, its not good at all period. I love everything from Sabbath to Killswitch, and this one sounds exactly like what it is. A local band with a mediocre cd. If only I had bought a beer instead of this lousy cd…

  • Kyle Shouey

    Till we die is an amazing band. this artical is baised on there pressing on cd. NOT there Demo RIP. Leviticus witch was there pryer band name. and its not mittys fault his vocal chords were distorted in an accident. and as for the recording of the album i dont care for a first full leinght it wasnt that bad a band has to start somewheres. if anyone thinks Till We Die is not a good band go to one of there shows and ask any band member for the Band DEMO cd. this shows the true feel of the band. and have a little more respect for the band membebers they work there asses off to entertain

  • Josh

    How many cd’s have you made guy?? I’d love to hear that crap..

  • http://draven99.blogspot.com Chris Beaumont

    What difference would that make? Does creating music make an opinion carry more weight? I should think not. More likely you are upset over someone having a differing opinion and stating so.

  • Josh

    It makes a huge difference.. When you’re some tool sitting in your moms basement (when you’re not out trying to score 300 lb chics) listening to some talented guys make good music you’re a little bias.. Sounds like you’re a little jealous that you can’t come up with anything that even compares to their cd.. And if you’re gonna attack the cd go see the otherside of the band.. See them live they’ll blow you away..

  • http://draven99.blogspot.com Chris Beaumont

    SO, I am going to assume that you would be having the same issue if my review had been favorable? Since, I still don’t make music my opinion must mean nothing. That begs the question why do you bother reading reviews? The vast majority of people who write reviews are not creatively active within the music/video industry. Also, assuming you know anything about me would be a mistake, as you don’t, although you think your petty insults will have an affect on me.

    I listen to music, I know what I like and what I don’t like and I have an outlet to share my opinion. No need to hate.

    If they came to town, sure I would see them live, perhaps I would like the live show. This album, however is not all that good. It has a couple of moments, but overall I have heard much better (and worse).

  • http://www.myspace.com/imshitfacedkissme anthony

    I love this band! =)

  • Matt

    Till We Die is awesome… I couldn’t possibly disagree with you anymore then I do.. What are your credentials??

  • http://draven99.blogspot.com Chris Beaumont

    Glad you like the band.

    As for my credentials? I have an opinion and like to write. How’s that?

  • http://canadiancinephile.com/ Jordan Richardson

    It’s amazing how this “business” works, isn’t it Chris?

    You review one album and say you love it and suddenly the fans put you up on a pedestal. You review another album and don’t like it and suddenly you have no right to express an opinion at all. Beautiful poetry, really.

  • http://draven99.blogspot.com Chris Beaumont

    It is, isn’t it?

    Funny thing is that those who are most vocal are those who disagree. Those who agree tend to be a little quieter.

    And to think I had a couple of nice things to say…

  • Matt

    Hm.. That is something we have in common.. I might have to try blogging some time then…

  • Matt

    I guess it works fine.. People obviously read your blog.. There are plenty of responses.. I just happen to disagree strongly.. I like to write aswell.. Perhaps I’ll try writing a more positive review of this band and see if I get any response..

  • Matt

    I guess it works fine.. People obviously read your blog.. There are plenty of responses.. I just happen to disagree strongly.. I like to write aswell.. Perhaps I’ll try writing a more positive review of this band and see if I get any response..

  • http://draven99.blogspot.com Chris Beaumont

    Hey Matt, thanks for the comment. The biggest thing I try to do is to try to be open going in, which is tough sometimes based on my own experiences and likes/dislikes. An important thing is to respect opinions. There are reviews I have read for artists I really like that were less than favorable, but if they write out their reasoning I can respect that. I would be interested in reading your take.

  • Samantha

    This band kicks ass and they are sweethearts!!

  • Scott

    Hey Chris, I know exactly where you’re coming from. You may like the music, but the recording may not be up to par. It happens, I know a few bands that have great tunes but tried to record them on their own and just don’t know what they’re doing. Even ones backed by labels. It’s just so surprising that a lable would let them release work like that. How many of you listen to a CD and actually like EVERY song on it? Get real, people, you haven’t. And yea, I’ve played in many bands, released CD’s (no, our music wasn’t all that ‘cool’ and marketable but did what we wanted, did it our way, and made sure the recording was good), in essence I’ve been there – done that.

  • http://www.myspace.com/cochlea5 andy

    till we die is fucking awesome! im going to see them at lupos in Rhode Island tommorow and its gonna be sick! fuck this kid talking shit about them, they’re nasty and anyone who hasn’t heard them definately should check em out!

  • http://www.myspace.com/karenusarmymom Army Mom

    Well I think there AWESOME …Going to see them open For BLS and Sevendust thursday So put that in your pipe and smoke it

  • http://www.bagslead.com marc

    I enjoy all types of music, and within every type there are good bands, there are bad bands, and there are bands in the middle.

  • Jason

    TWD’s fans need to lighten up a bit regarding their precious band. I’m sure they are all really nice guys and I even played a show with them years ago. Sorry to hear about Mitty but this isn’t a review of how “hard they work” or “how much they have overcome”. This is a review of the sound of the music, period. And it’s coming from someone who isn’t a personal friend of the band which is where you get your most honest feedback. As a musician, I find this information extremely valuable. He’s right, the CD is rough and doesn’t do them any favors. I’m sure they busted their asses just like all self-respecting bands do in the studio but unfortunately we don’t all have the funds to get it mixed and mastered correctly and this is what happens. I think the CD definitely has some good parts to it but it is somewhat forgettable in my opinion…which is just that – an opinion, take it or leave it.

  • Expo

    Till We Die is an amazing band and yeah the album “Pressing On” is not quite up to par. Meet the band and ask them yourselves and they’ll agree that “pressing on” isn’t good. Mitty admitedly hates the album. But just wait for “What Now” coming out very soon, then re-review the band, that’ll change your mind…

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