My Epic – I Am Undone

Band: My Epic
Album: I Am Undone
Genre: Ambient/Post Hardcore
Label: Dreamt/Facedown

1. Prologue
2. The Oil Press
3. Lest We Die
4. The Lover and The Thief
5. Perelandra
6. You Know We All Love You
7. Our Little Girl
8. Men In Little Houses
9. Communion
10. You Became I
11. –
12. It’s At Times Like This I Realize That Survival Is Not Enough

We all know that when a Facedown release rolls through, sheer brutality should follow. However, Dream Music, an imprint of Facedown, seems to be taking a softer approach to music. This is more than obvious with the newest release from My Epic entitled I Am Undone. These ambient rockers certainly have a sound mainly unique for the Christian rock market, but whether or not that’s a good thing is left to be determined.

The album begins fittingly enough with, “Prologue.” This simplistic introduction track does very little to make you want to continue with the record as it’s two and a half minute running time does little for the listener other than offer ambient tones and hard to recognize, distant vocal lines. I am, as I’m sure most of you are, new to this band, so this is not exactly how I’d like to star the relationship, but I’ll continue on. The tracks seamlessly runs into, “The Oil Press,” which gives us our first real workings with the band. Lyrically, it’s obvious from the get go that My Epic is, well, epic. Think if Aaron Weiss from Mewithoutyou wrote post hardcore style songs. This would be the result. Continuous metaphors and overly obvious relations to Christ. The song is quite atmospheric, but takes a few solid listens to really get into. A problem with depth in music is that sometimes you have to give up the catchy aspect and since we’re so early in the album, it continued to just not click perfectly with me. “Lest We Die,” however, gives the album a much needed jolt of excitement. With the exception of some very apparent level issues vocally in the mix at the beginning, this is the first song that just rocks. The lyrical content is still deep [discussion of a war within one’s self for mastery of the soul], but the music is much more appealing. Those who enjoyed Thrice’s Vheissu may fall in love with this band after hearing this song. The band then takes another slowed turn with, “Our Little Girl.” There’s a very heavy Dear Hunter type influence here, but with better percussion.

“The Lover and The Thief” continues the vocal started songs, but with a much quick pace. I’m not saying this song is going to rock you, but you’ll notice an obvious speed change. The use of group harmonies lightly placed in the background is a wonderful touch. This then leads us into, “Perelandra,” which is a moving instrumental track, but having only gone three real songs into the disc, it seems a bit premature. Though, you can’t deny the obvious talent in the structure. Nor can you deny the more guitar driven work that is, “You Know We All Love You.” though, the levels on the mix still seem a bit off as the thick [and enchanting] bass line is louder than the lead vocals and that kind of kills the lyrical affect. Luckily, the bell work is very well done and makes up for it quite a bit. Also, the breakdown [out of nowhere] is, well…wow. Although, the big atmospheric moments seem to be coming a bit too often on the album to really create a solid and enticing aura.

Well, just as I make a comment about the amount of “atmospheric moments,” getting too heavy, My Epic come out of left field with the rock laced beast that is, “Men in Little Houses.” This is my golden egg of the album. From the epic and gorgeous guitar work, to perfectly placed gang lines and wonderful lyrics; this is the track we’ve been waiting to hear. Be sure to listen in for the bridge, because that is just stunning and well done to no end. Following this, “Communion” rolls by without much of anything to discuss, and the same seems to apply with the majority of, “You Became I.” I mean, sure, the lyrical content is great, but the songs jsut have such minimal lasting capacity that nothing feels good going down. Luckily, the last two tracks offer some final salvation for the band. “-,” plays like the gorgeous sonnet the band’s be wanting to create throughout the album. The vocals are haunting and the music is kept simplistic to make an engaging sound that pulls you into the disc one last time. This vibe is continued with, “It’s At Times…,” which ends the album on a subtle, yet fitting note. The song feels like an extended set of work from the previous track, but finds the lyrical depth getting even greater and more profound. I don’t want to give them away though, because they really are the best part of My Epic, but know, no matter what, make sure you take in these last two tracks.

Overall, My Epic are not quite the size their name brings to mind. These three guys work hard to create an engaging, deep experience, but too often it comes off as boring or misguided. Their sound is like Thrice mixed with Circa Survive on Zoloft, but that’s not necessarily bad as they do create a musical field all their own in the Chrisitan Market. I think there’s something profound here, but My Epic hasn’t quite gotten to that point in their career just yet. I Am Undone showcases a band lost in their own sound, but in time I think they themselves will see the light.

*Written By: James Shotwell*
GRADE: 5.5/10

James Shotwell
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