Dead To Fall

Buried within the diseased vocals and bloodstained cover art of Everything I Touch Falls to Pieces, the debut album from Chicago hardcore quintet Dead to Fall, are pleas for the right and vengeance for the wrong. While many things fall to pieces on this LP -- love, Earth, the band -- tracks like "Preying on the Helpless" forge an intelligent attack (in this case on child offenders) without picket signs or petitions as time signatures volley from locomotive picking to bass-powered dirge. For the 38 minutes of Everything I Touch ..., guitars scratch and claw in unison; Seth Nichol's Schecter and Bryan Lear's Les Paul provide individual pitch and grain to the galloping riffs of "Tu Se Morta" and "Graven Image." The frequent minor-key melodies are reminiscent of Metallica circa ... And Justice For All; even drummer Dan Craig's accelerated double-kick drum is "One" without the breather during the verse. In the battle for Throat Most Resembling a Polyp Farm, Jonathan Hunt's beastly blood-for-saliva delivery bests anyone in current hardcore/death metal, Slipknot's Corey Taylor and Hatebreed's Jamey Jasta to name a few red-ribbon recipients. While Everything I Touch ... looks the part of plague to the PMRC, there are zero blasphemes. Synonyms for "contentment" fill that slot.