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by: Alyssa Boergermann
Some of the most renowned art is derived from the most difficult hardship. The pain, struggle, and rebirth former band A Feast For Kings endured after losing their vocalist and friend, Eric Gentry, is evident in reformed XXI’s release of their first album Inside Out. Creating a beautiful tribute rising from the ashes, XXI’s members Carson Butcher (Vocals), Seth Weigand (Guitar/Vocals), Jamie King (Guitar), and Robbie Barnett (Drums), list Eric Gentry as their “5th Man” (XXI, 2015). Their name, a tribute in itself, was chosen based on Eric’s age at the time of his passing.
Signing with Tooth & Nail Records in May of this year (2015), the guys didn’t waste any time putting together Inside Out, which will release on September 18th. In regards to this effort, the band was quoted as saying, “we have a more melodic sound than our past material. We will most likely continue to grow in a rock direction as opposed to metal-core moving forward” (Tooth & Nail Records, 2015).
Beginning with a fast paced anthem in, “Say It Again,” the two sounds were fused together in many of the tracks; the melody that softens the edges around songs such as, “All I Want,” or, “Cut Me Open”, not taking anything away from the shredding and screaming found in, “Counting Me Out,” or, “Wasn’t Enough,” and similar tracks. Similar tracks would be one of the few criticisms; several sounding as though they are strung together. The strongest feature of Inside Out overall would be the emotionally driven, easily relatable lyrics; words that could have been copied directly from their author’s personal diaries. XXI’s potential is as apparent as their growing pains. “Without You,” settles the album down nearing the end, striking a chord before a burst from, “Way You Love Me,” soothes the hurt, prepares you to loop the album again, and promises more to come.
POP DEFLATORS RECOMMENDS: “Wasn’t Enough’
Tooth & Nail Records. (2015, May 20). Announcing Newest Signing XXI. Retrieved September 17, 2015, from http://www.toothandnail.com/news/4658/Announcing_Newest_Signing_XXI/
XXI. (2015). In Facebook: About. Retrieved September 15, 2015, from https://www.facebook.com/XXIband/info?tab=overview