My Missing Half – Ceaseless Decay
Melodic death metal band My Missing Half is a Massachusetts-based quartet formed in 2011. They create a customized blend of metal by adding in metalcore, doom, and even bits of thrash metal to expand their musical playground. The guitars on this offering are massive. The riffs are heavy, the leads and solos stunning. The bass and drums are fast, tight, and agile. These guys really know melodic and shredding metal equally well.
- Bijan Hennessey – Vocals/Guitars
- Nick Petrino – Lead Guitars
- Alex Elwell – Bass
- Erik Matthews – Drums
Ceaseless Decay was independently released on April 17, 2020.
- Six Feet Away
- Make It Quick
- Before Waves And Rocks Catch Me
- Postponing Recovery
- In Nightmares
- Nail My Coffin Shut
- Venting To Dial Tones
- What’s Left From The Wreckage
The album’s onslaught begins with “Six Feet Away,” a crushing tune with massive riffs and a drum line that almost defies belief. The thundering bass is tucked in under the dual riff attack of Bijan and Nick, supporting the song with a rock-solid foundation. Even when things slow down near the chorus, this is a powerhouse of a song. The vocals are as fast as the riff when necessary, and there are no cleans to be heard. Brutality is the driving factor here.
“Make It Quick” has some really nice melodic lead work on the guitars. The tones are lighter and airy, giving the song a touch of relief, almost like making it quick is an act of mercy. The tempo drops through the bridge to sub-200 BPM, which seems like a rarity on this record. The lead guitar tones are such an offset to the heaviness of the riff that it acts like a counterpart melody. They create a fantastic balance in this song.
For a truly melodic opening riff, check out “Before Waves And Rocks Catch Me.” That intro is stunning in its’ feel and sound both. It’s like the texture of the opening is silky smooth to give a caress before the roughness of the song’s main body roughs you up. Again, the blast beats from the drummer are so fast yet precise that it’s hard to believe this is not a machine. The melodic bass and guitar lines over those blast beats really are an impressive dichotomy of sound.
“Postponing Recovery” and “In Nightmares” both have much the same tempo and feel as their predecessors, heavy in all the right places, melodic where they need to be. Vocals are harsh and brutal, giving the subject matter the proper treatment. MMH shifts from melodic to thrashy to speed to technical death metal with ease and purpose. All changes are at precise moments, with no missed or wasted notes. The compositions are built around exactly what it takes to convey the music’s meaning and words.
There is one instrumental on this record, “1451MG.” At just under two minutes, this is a slow, sludgy, melodic piece of music that creates a sense of dread, preparing you for the assault the next song will perpetrate on you. There is a bit of peace under the dread, but happiness is not meant to be the emotion you take from this track.
“Nail My Coffin Shut” has another melodic intro. Again, it is followed by a fantastically brutal segment through the verses. The way MMH set up the main body of some songs with those melodic intros is quite remarkable. The ability to go from one extreme to the other, even within extreme metal, is astounding. Then, they use well-placed leads and fills from each instrument to create shifts in the action.
“Double Counted” and “Venting To Dial Tones” continues the assault. I’m always amazed when I hear a drummer going at or over 200 BPM with their feet and using a moderate snare tempo. Having tried drumming a long time ago, I could either go fast or slow with both hands and feet. There was no ability to use different speeds for the other limbs. This is just another example of how this band excels not only with their instruments but in their ability to craft tunes that use various techniques.
The record wraps with “What’s Left From The Wreckage.” This final track is the last beating your ears will take on this album. There is more of what you’ve grown to love from MMH, a blazing fast rhythm with blast beats and thundering bass tones, brutal riffs with delicate leads over them, and vocals that will have your neighbors wondering if you need an exorcism.
My Missing Half is not a half-assed band. They go full force from start to finish, ripping out tracks meant to accelerate your heartbeat to dangerous levels. It takes excellent musicians to play this fast and this accurately. This band is technically skilled to a degree you don’t see very often in music, but that seems to flourish in extreme metal. The music is brutal, the tones are dark and foreboding, the vocals are harsh, and the compositions are complex, requiring the listener to pay close attention or get lost.
This is music that engages the brain, so much so that it makes the body respond with an involuntary movement, such as headbanging, air guitar, and attempts at air drumming that fall wildly short of achieving anything near realism. It’s the kind of music that leaves you winded after a full playthrough or just praying there are no cops on your driving route because you’re probably speeding for most of the disc. In other words, it’s just what you want from your melodic death metal.
- Guitars – 10
- Rhythms – 10
- Vocals – 9
- Songwriting – 9
- Production – 9
- Overall – 9.40