In the Midst of Lions

The Heart of Man

BY Ronak GhorbaniPublished Aug 3, 2010

Citing the likes of Meshuggah as musical influence, St. Louis Christian death metal outfit In the Midst of Lions' newest release is packed with lusciously sludgy breakdowns. In the Midst of Lions are able to stay independently sound by weaving together intricate riffs with pounding, speedy strums and surprise bursts of pleasingly high-pitched screams. While most tracks start off slow, they keep things on edge, switching between succinct blast beats, slow-mo distortion and deep, howling vocals. Thematically, ITML are as dark as a Christian death metal act can get. Frontman Matt Janssen has written an album full of Judgement Day imagery, which can be perceived as overall world chaos for non-religious listeners. On "Reborn," the gang vocals chants of "I will rise up!" conjure Night of the Living Dead imagery, while pounded drums and muffled, swamp-like guitars cohere to create a doom-y feel. Other top tracks include the rapidly hypnotizing "The Pharisaic Heart."

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