Time: 9 tracks/32:30
This CD is a collection of demo tracks from this Dallas band's three years, plus a few new ones recently recorded. Slow to mid-tempo, hardcore, groove metal is the name of the game here, the band citing influences like Pantera, Corrosion of Conformity, Godfear, and Tool. They've got a long way to go before they're on the same level as any of those guys, but I can hear the similarities on a few songs.
The three current members definitely have talent, though, hammering out some cool riffs and rhythms. Sometimes they shoot straight, and sometimes they stutter stop-and-go, often downshifting into sludgy grunge metal to lay a thick base for the vocals. One part of "Broken" sounds dangerously close to Deliverance's "What A Joke." The songs aren't all that imaginative, and the production/packaging remains demo-quality, but Clearview has obvious potential. Vocalist Danny (also bassist) is the band's secret weapon, with deep, attitude-filled vocals that are better than those of many major label bands. Most often, he sounds a bit like CoC's Pepper Keenan. He layers his vocals some in the recording to provide eerie harmonic effects. On "2000 A.D.," he bellows with a really low, powerful vocal: "Oh Holy Father, my loving Savior." That part just kills.
All of the lyrics have the same basic theme--being saved from bad circumstances by the love of Christ. Danny's delivery keeps them from sounding corny like they might coming from a lesser throat, though.
If you're used to indie production, I recommend Clearview. They're somewhat unique in the Christian scene, and once they get better production and move beyond their influences to find their own sound, they'll be a band about which you can be proud to say "I knew them back when...."
By Josh Spencer