Violence

An Album By

My Epic

Review by

Listen now

In 2018, My Epic released Ultraviolet, the first of a two-part EP project that explores faith from honest-but-unpopular angles. Whereas Ultraviolet takes a delicate tone and contemplative perspective, its new and contrasting partner, Violence, is a fed-up examination of the shadows cast by faith. As much as the heart of the music is two sides of the same unsettled coin, the album art expertly augments the approach; the artwork and title of Ultraviolet are visible beneath the artwork of Violence. It’s a subtle reminder that two polar approaches exist simultaneously, as much part of one another as they are independent.

By design, Violence has a more abrasive sound than is typical for My Epic. It embraces a common thread of implication that the effect created when words exist without action, a void is created rather than lasting impact. The first track, “Bloody Angles,” is a prime example, full of clever writing (“What good is this white flag if it’s dripping with red?”) backed by straightforward, punchy riffs. In a similar way, “White Noises,” the first single off the EP, gets an extra punch from Norma Jean vocalist Cory Brandon, adding his intense screams of harsh honesty, like, “The wars you fight are the same ones you incite,” and, “You have nothing to say to me so I have nothing to say to you.” Along with Aaron Stone’s melodic vocal manifestation of the social disappointment of who we have become – specifically, as a culture of faith – this song perfectly sums up the habit of speaking just to hear your voice.

While the first couple of songs diverge from My Epic’s signature softer sound, the third track, “Spit and Blood,” is a unique listening experience with its loud brushing in the intro and the echoing autotuned vocals. In its strangeness, the song creates a dreamscape that devolves into a confused nightmare. Stone’s voice works well on the track with a little more intensity behind his lyricism than his trademark ethereal croon.

The selection and arrangement of effects are as important to this song as the intentionally blurred lyrical delivery; this and all of the deliberate but understated details on Violence are a modest display of brilliance. As with the beauty in the lyrical fiber of Ultraviolet, the abrasive performance of Violence is a solid sample of the musical mastery of this band.

Stone’s guitar performance is top notch, and he shines as much in this way as he does with his vocals. One of the more memorable songs, “Blacklight,” lyrically dissects the painful question of how suffering exists in a world with God’s oversight. The song is a representative of the general notion My Epic is conveying with Violence, which is that you’re not the only one without all the answers.

As with each track involved in the Ultraviolet/Violence project, it’s another reminder that no matter how they choose to deliver, My Epic will always handle questions about their faith with nothing short of brutal honesty.

Arguably the most effective moment on Violence is the opening drum solo for “Spit it Out.” With a confidence that is equally bold, the song’s premise speaks to violently shedding the lies we’ve accepted about God and ourselves. As this seven-song EP begins to close out, it continues to deliver as one of My Epic’s most unique and unexpected material. “Tsuneni” doubles down on the experimental side of the band’s music, leaning more into the electronic darkwave register, a fresh ingredient to Violence. Stone’s higher register makes for a surprisingly smooth autotune. In its final exhale, “Bad Accent” brings Violence to a close with one of My Epic’s more traditional rock performances.

As with each track involved in the Ultraviolet/Violence project, it’s another reminder that no matter how they choose to deliver, My Epic will always handle questions about their faith with nothing short of brutal honesty. Coupled with the evolution of their sound – and not a complete change – My Epic have found the perfect way to evolve and deliver creative music.

My Epic Photo By Lucas C: Photographer

Features

Tigerwine 2020

A Disparate Vintage

On Tigerwine's latest, 'Nothing is for You,' vocalist and lyricist Trobee departs from the band's last effort as a concept record to write about an array subjects. Notably, Trobee tackles his evolution from rigid belief system to an acceptance and understanding of other ideas: "Through touring and becoming close with those very people I was taught to be afraid of, I realized how untrue it all is."

By

Full Feature
HM covers from over the years

HM Magazine Turns 35

In 1985, Doug Van Pelt photocopied a letter-sized sheets of paper, bound them together, and handed them out in person on the campus of the University of Texas at Austin. It's all digital now, but, along the way, Van Pelt stirred up quite a few waves, played some seriously heavy music, and made a few friends along the way. Here: A quick look back at the magazine's 35-year history with Van Pelt and new owner, David Stagg.

By

Full Feature
Comrades 2020

Becoming Comrades

The trio of Comrades – husband and wife Joe and Laura McElroy alongside drummer John Gaskil – is used to living in a van and touring the country. Now, their new normal has provided them with a moment to "be adults" for once. We recently sat down with the McElroys to talk more about the spiritual reality within life, how soon they'll be able to release new music, and how koalas are their new normal.

By

Photo by Quinsey Sablan

Full Feature
All Features