Rejoice, rockeros! New music is coming from Rendered Heartless, the versatile, resilient four-piece alt-metal band from Aransas Pass, TX. The guys are putting the finishing touches on their new album, and the first single, “Death from Afar”, is dropping August 30th. The fellas were kind enough to give us a sneak peak of the track, which we break down below.
The track begins with a slow, crawling riff from guitarist Michael Newman that is so dark and heavy, you can practically hear the thunder and rain in the background. Then, the bands kicks it up a notch, and suddenly Newman is accompanied on his rhythmic journey by his brother, drummer Jarrod Newman, and bassist James Griffis. The guitarist has a gift for riff writing, and his love for six-string superhero Eddie Van Halen has made him both resourceful and nimble. The main riff manages to stay heavy and pointed without being sluggish or plugging. Frontman Michael Schwind channels his inner Layne Staley with his tortured, war-weary vocals that tell his story through the lens of a snipers scope. The dynamics and sheer brutality of the chorus and the way they contrast with the slower, somber verses brilliantly illustrates the duality of the existence of a sniper… he hides for hours, maybe days, contemplating his existence and his deeds, until it’s time to pull the trigger. A loud clap, the percussion that proceeds the death of the snipers mark, a flash of light, and then… it’s over. Back to silence and brooding and being one with your environment. Personally, I feel that the power of dynamics is often overlooked in modern rock music, so this is a very effective tool, giving the song a sincerity and authenticity. Jacob Mirabel, axe-slinger from Wings Over Society, helps Schwind bring the song home with a powerful solo that serves the song while still managing to standout. It starts out a little far back in the mix, but he quickly regains the ground and shines in his moment.
Overall, the song is an absolute monster. It’s radio friendly, it’s powerful, and it’s inspired while remaining original and true to the band’s sound. Schwind turns a good track into a great one with his vocal performance, a sign of the good things to come, and the rhythm section of J.Newman/Griffis could hold their own against any metal band out there. “Death From Afar” isn’t just a story set to heavy music, it’s a declaration of intent… this band is putting the rock world in its crosshairs, and if this new single is a warning shot, the new album very well could be lethal.