Dolly Parton

San Diego's Destroy the Runner occupy that melodic area in metal where They're Only Chasing Safety-era Underoath resides. The band doesn't completely pummel listeners into the ground with vicious intensity and bone-rattling growls, since whenever the music is threatening to slip entirely into murderous terrain, heartwarming melody and bright singing emerge from behind the storm of thunderous guitars and pummeling drums. Their sonic attack is akin to bands like From Autumn to Ashes and Norma Jean, the quintet understanding the loud-soft dynamic to a "T" on their Solid State debut Saints, and they're unafraid to switch directions multiple times within a song. Just as "From the Red" spits and growls along with heavy riffing and quick double bass kicks, guitars suddenly swell together with uplifting vocal harmonies that overpower most everything else before dropping back to the intensity of their metal ways. And like the aforementioned Underoath, Destroy the Runner approach their personal lyrics from a Christian-minded point of view, yet vaguely enough that most listeners will be none the wiser regarding their religious affiliation unless they're familiar with the band's record label. Instead of targeting depression and misery in their songs (or plotting bloody revenge on all their exes), the guys want only to uplift and empower their listeners with cathartic tales of hope and positivity through dark times. "My Darkness" epitomizes their contrasting harsh/gentle ways right off the bat with dynamic playing amid proclamations of "Never let this love fade away...This is the only thing we're fighting for/We're gonna make it through the night....The only way to remain strong." Saints is a competent debut that, while not wholly original, Destroy the Runner make up for with the emotional force they bring to each song.

Album Tracks

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Dolly Parton Albums

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