Eyes Set To Kill have been around for a while. I don’t propose to know much about them, but I was curious, so I asked to review their fifth album, and first for Century Media Records, Masks. I have to say, I’m impressed, for the most part. The songs are pretty solid, and the few I didn’t care for aren’t annoying. Apparently there have been quite a few line-up changes over the years, but now the band seems to be on solid ground, sisters Alexia (clean vocals, guitar) and Anissa (bass) Rodriguez leading the way, with Cisko Miranda handling guitars and harsh vocals, and Caleb Clifton manning the drums.
“Masks” is a moody 1:41 intro and things really get going on the next two tracks “Killing In Your Name” and “Lost And Forgotten”, especially the second one. I loved it. Eyes Set To Kill have some serious balls, and aren’t afraid to show them. At the same time, they manage to strike a delicate balance between the melodic and the heavy, almost thrash element. When it works it’s great, and when it doesn’t, not so much. Case in point: “True Colors”. I almost feel like it’s trying too hard to be thrash/metalcore, and the clean vocals are almost wasted here. “Where I Want to Be” though, is another shining moment on the disc, and “Surface” is also a favorite.
Momentum is derailed however, by “Little Liar”. While I didn’t hate it, this was definitely my least favorite song, and one that probably would get skipped in the car. Fear not, though. Redemption arrives, first with “Nothing Left To Say”, Cisko and Alexia really hitting their stride, then with “The New Plague”, the band channeling their inner Slipknot to a very good result. Leadoff single “Infected” is my second favorite behind “Lost” because, quite frankly, that damn chorus is infectious, and you’ll be singing it hours later, trust me.
“Haze” is definitely one of Alexia’s best moments, and is also a song I look forward to hearing live in a few weeks, assuming it’s on the setlist. Closer “The Forbidden Line” is arguably the most well-balanced track on the entire Masks album, and really showcases what these guys/girls are capable of. Like I said earlier, I don’t know anything about Eyes Set To Kill’s previous body of work, but what I do know is this: Century Media made the right move picking them up, and I think this is only a taste of what’s to come.
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Lost And Forgotten”, “Infected”, “The Forbidden Line”, “Surface”, “Nothing Left To Say”, “Where I Want To Be”