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Empty Hands and Heavy Hearts

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Album Review

Close Your Eyes' Empty Hands and Heavy Hearts picks up where 2010's We Will Overcome left off. Throughout the album, Shane Raymond's half-sung, half-screamed vocals are explosive and compelling as the Christian melodic hardcore band marries screamo's intense, fleet-footed rhythms with optimistic spiritual messages. The big shift from earlier work is that the tempo is increased. The band's whiplash aesthetic isn't especially distinctive, although the spindly guitar riffs of Andrew Rodriguez and Brett Callaway are tight, and the breakdowns are always powerful. Even if innovation isn't a top priority, Close Your Eyes are highly passionate and the familiar palette of double kicks, warm and buzzing guitars, adrenaline, and emotional melodies should be enough to win over fans of Comeback Kid, Four Year Strong, and Rise Against.

Customer Reviews

Wow. What happened?

I was expecting so much more from these guys. I had so much hope for them. But their new album is a huge let down for me.

Out of the 12 tracks, "Wolves" at #10 is the only song with actual screams. Their previous album had an amazing mix of singing, yelling, and screaming from Shane Raymond. But this album seems to be just all... yelling. It's not screaming, and it's not singing. I loved it when he would yell, sing, then scream, but this album is just him yelling out his frustrations. After the 2nd of this non stop yelling with no mixture, it got really dull, really fast. It's awesome he has alot of passion for what he does, but all that yelling doesnt hold much variety in the long run.

The drums on this album, too, are extremely repetative. Many songs seem to start out nearly the same beat at the beginning of the 1st verse. Injustice, Empty Hands, Erie, Hope Slips Away, Keep the Lights On, Carry You, and Scars have nearly the same exact drumming at LEAST at the beginning of the 1st verse. I can't listen to the whole album through without getting sick of them.

This album is such a let down. I LOVED "We Will Overcome". But "Empty Hands and Heavy Hearts" is...well.... not good. I'm sorry. I hope their next album isnt so dull.


You can never go wrong with these guys! They changed me life with their words and music. The new album is amazing!

Sorry guys, not as good as your first

I complety agree with Stephen Haynes on this one. Shane Raymond has an incredible, unique voice which he neglects to showcase on this album, its all yelling and hardly any melodic singing or true screams. He did all three in perfect harmony in "We Will Overcome". The Lyrics themselves in this album are good, just the way they are presented makes it hard to continuously listen to. And yes the drummning was a big let down for me in this one. Fast, but very repetitive. The same beat is used throughout a number a songs, and becomes a strain to listen to. The variation in style, awesome breakdowns, and prominent double bass are missing in this album that made me love "We Will Overcome" so much.

This criticism is coming out of the highest respect for these guys, since I know what they are capable of, and I really want to see them suceed, and spread their message to the world. Best of luck guys

Empty Hands and Heavy Hearts, Close Your Eyes
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Customer Ratings