REVIEW: Blindside – With Shivering Hearts We Wait

Artist: Blindside
Album: With Shivering Hearts We Wait
Genre: Rock
Label: INO

Starting at a rather young age, I seem to have been inadvertently swept up in the Christian post-hardcore scene, I am not a devout Christian by any means, in fact, at this point I’d be astounded if there wasn’t a front row seat reserved for me in hell. But that’s besides the point, I appreciated the music all the same, only in a purely secular way, music is music, no matter who or what you believe in. It wasn’t anything intentional of course, it was actually purely coincidence; honestly, I blame Underoath. But this subconscious obsession has branched off in a big way to the other sub-genres of the Christian music scene; bands like The Chariot, Emery, August Burns Red, and so on. I guess Christians are just good at making music that I like, I can’t really read into it any more than that. Of course, every once in awhile, the Christian music genre makes a little foray into P.O.D. Territory; a salty mixture of bro-rock, and good ol’ fashioned Jesus-worshipping. But as long as a band maintains some integrity, and doesn’t fall into the trap of expressing their bro-love for Jesus, I’m usually inclined to enjoy it.

Which leads me to Blindside, a Christian post-hardcore band that has been around since 1994, who have just released a new album, With Shivering Hearts We Wait. I’ll have to admit some fault here, I have never got into Blindside, which seemed quite strange to me, how could I have more or less ignored and disregarded such a long-running Christian post-hardcore band? I couldn’t rattle off any facts about the band, I couldn’t recall any album names or singles, I couldn’t even really describe what they sounded like. I’m usually quite well informed on the topic, this isn’t something that happens often, but I’m willing to admit fault every once in awhile, but I most certainly had to remedy this great grievance against the genre. I was quite excited to give this album a listen, at this point in my life, I’ve come to terms with the fact that I like heavier Christian bands, so even though I had disregarded this band in the past, I couldn’t wait to give the album a listen. I didn’t really know what to expect, but based on the timeline and genre, I was incorrectly expecting an early-90’s, Zao-like Christinan hardcore type sound, outdated as it may be.

Unfortunately, not everyone can be Underoath. While Blindside has been a long running key figure in the Christian post hardcore scene for years and years, I can now recall why I had let them slip by for the past decade or so; I just can’t bring myself to get into them. I tried my very best, I gave “With Shivering Hearts We Wait” a few solid listens, and I simply couldn’t get in to it the way I wanted to. The album actually did kick off with a certain degree of promise, the first track, “There Must Be Something In The Water” came in with a very catchy riff, and quite impressive vocals. But as the song progressed into it’s pseudo-breakdown, and back again, that “catchy riff” began to come off as a bit contrived and repetitive. And the same repetitive feel came back with the intro riff to the second track, “My Heart Escapes”. Everything continued to go downhill from there, “Monster On The Radio” continued to trend of too-repetitive intro riffs, and added some very cliché and uninspired lyrics, such as, “Hey radio, did you play my song?/Did you say my name, I couldn’t hear, I might be wrong.” The album just got a bit too boring, way too quickly. I will reiterate that the vocals were very impressive, but when it comes down to it, that’s really all they were; they were good, but didn’t really stand out in any particular way. Which I guess sums up the album as a whole, it is good, but doesn’t really stand out in any particular way.

The album isn’t a complete failure, but as I find myself picking out things I don’t like, I found it exponentially harder to pick out things that I did like. I feel bad, I want to like this band, but at the same time, I really just can’t. With Shivering Hearts We Wait simply doesn’t sound like an offering from a band that has had 17 years to hone their sound, and I just can’t ignore that fact. Now it all makes sense, when I came along the genre about 10 years ago, it was this, or Underoath; I made my decision, and Blindside slipped into obscurity as far as I was concerned. And after hearing this new album, I’m quite content with my decision.

Score: 5/10
Review written by: Michael Hogan

James Shotwell
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One Response to “REVIEW: Blindside – With Shivering Hearts We Wait”

  1. Chris Sarda says:

    Like you I’m a surely going to hell but do love a lot of what comes out of the Christian scene and while at this point I can’t recommend this album either, I do have to point out how strange it is to be comparing Blindside with Underoath. Underoath btw perhaps the most overrated band in the hardcore scene, or at least that horrible album that made them famous TOCS. Albums (major release’s I should say) one and three were pretty good, but they’re still a middle of the road band.

    The only reason you’d even breathe their names in the same sentence is because they’re both Christian bands, it’s an unfair comparison. Blindside released one hardcore album ever, it’s called A Thought Crushed my Mind, it may not become your favorite album ever but there’s certainly no HC band that really sounds like it. The Refused would be the closest.  Blindside though is just a regular hard rock band with pop sensibilities that is willing to experiment here and there.