Four years after Almost Home, Evergreen Terrace have returned with Dead Horses, their debut with new home label, Rise Records. Driving forth with a healthy mix of hardcore and metal, the band has about as good of a balance here as they have in a while. Dead Horses may feel a little less heavy in comparison to some of Evergreen’s older material, but the trade off is mostly worth it. Focusing a little more on their hardcore and rock roots on this outing, the band is able to let loose, while putting their message of hope and longing clearly at the forefront.
Dead Horses opens with one of its top tracks, “Crows.” With a memorable chorus and message, the song kicks things off with a burst of angry energy and melodic poetry. The lines “At the end of it all, we will still undivided, black hearts united” sets the tone for the record perfectly, and it’s one we can all relate to on some level.
The title track is the next greatly fantastic track. It’s chorus is done in a chant that will dive into your brain with ease, making it a song you’ll want to put on repeat several times a day. Skip ahead a bit, and you’ll find the heaviest and most brutal track, “Mike Myers Never Runs, But He Always Catches Up.” Though it doesn’t have the best set up, the song does feature some of the best guitar work, and an awesomely satisfying ending. The final highlight of Dead Horses then comes at the closing with “That Dog’ll Hunt.” It’s the most elaborately constructed track of the record, and works well as a finale.
Dead Horses isn’t without its flaws, of course. The first half of the record is certainly the strongest, and twice the songs just fade out to their endings (something I find lazy). However, as a complete work, this is a very enjoyable record that has been calling me back a lot these past two weeks. Long time fans of Evergreen Terrace will likely find that Dead Horses has its own special place in the band’s discography, while new listeners should be driven by the blend of heavy and melodic elements. (Nathaniel Lay)
Purchase Dead Horses here: http://www.riserecordsstore.com/