Killing the Dream starts out their “In Place, Apart” with a fury that has not been heard since Strike Anywhere’s “Exit English” or “Siren Song of the Counter-Culture-era” Rise Against. In fact, lead vocalist Elijah has more than a passing similarity to Rise Against’s vocalist Tim, a comparison that only gets stronger as the disc continues to spin. What does provide a major problem at the onset of “In Place, Apart” is that listeners are not given a lyric sheet to really be able to decipher Elijah’s supersonic screaming, something that is necessary to really get a positive appreciation of the band. However, the harmony present in eir voice is enough during “If It Rains” to really add a catchiness to the track not previously heard on the disc.
The nice thing about the tracks on “In Place, Apart” is that they are constructed without the long lead-ins that tend to cripple a disc’s momentum. What is present on this disc are a number of sub-two minute tracks that do not have time to meander around trying to find a groove; in this “survival of the fittest”, only the leanest, rawest songs make it to the disc. What is perhaps the most hard-hitting lyrics of the track is a little one-liner spat out by Elijah during “We’re All Dead Ends” – that “we’re all fucked, so fuck it all”. The repetition of the phrase modifies it from something snarky to rewind the disc for to something that is the spine of the track. The fact that Killing The Dream can actually turn it into a rallying cry shows that they are well in control of their artistic output. Much like the best albums of the punk/hardcore genre, Killing The Dream’s “In Place, Apart”is able to show listeners a diverse world of sounds and influences in well under a half-hour.
The uniting of punk, hardcore, and metal elements into a cohesive package means that the creative output of the band has so many different sounds and styles to choose from. Combine that with a short average track length and one ensures that the fraction of the listeners who get tired of the music of “In Place, Apart” is as few as possible. Killing the Dream is a furious maelstrom of music, screaming and harmony that restore the fury of previous acts like Rise Against to their unmitigated original. An album that is intense without being brain-dead in its creation.
Top Tracks: Four Years Too Late, Post Script
Killing the Dream – In Place, Apart / 2005 Deathwish / 12 Tracks / http://www.killingthedream.com / http://www.deathwishinc.com / Reviewed 14 October 2005