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The Life I Know

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Album Review

Christian metalcore is an odd animal. The growling vocals and loud, thudding guitars sound too aggressive to deliver any sort of religious message, and the lyrics — the one place where a band's ideals can be explicitly stated — are often unintelligible. In this light, Gwen Stacy's The Life I Know is a confusing debut, as the listener is never quite sure what to make of these churchgoing headbangers. Vocalist Cole Wallace certainly doesn't sound like the kind a person you'd bring home to meet your God-fearing parents — he sounds pained and downright angry as he screams his way through the band's set list. At the same time, he strays away from metalcore's usual lyrical fodder, refusing to sing about the bleak topics that dominate so many of the genre's records. Lyrics and faith aside, they're a passable metal band, having obviously done their homework and modeled their chops after hardcore's heaviest hitters. Songs like "Sleeping in the Train Yard" also add electronic percussion to the mix, which briefly brings the band into the commercial territory of Papa Roach and Linkin Park.


Formed: 2004 in Indianapolis, IN

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s

The Christian metalcore outfit Gwen Stacy were formed in 2004 by Indianapolis residents Cole Wallace (vocals), Brent Schindler (bass, vocals), Patrick Meadows (guitar), and T.J. Sego (drums). Blending inspirational, hope-filled lyrics with metal chops influenced by Underoath, Evergreen Terrace, and Stretch Arm Strong, the quintet toured the country for two years before entering the recording studio with producers Paul Leavitt and Brian McTernan in fall 2007. Their debut LP, The Life I Know, was released...
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The Life I Know, Gwen Stacy
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