Where Ethereal and Visceral Meet: ‘Viscera’ by My Epic

This review originally appeared on NewReleaseToday.com.

My Epic isn’t your average alt rock outfit. Their 2013 Facedown Records release Behold displayed a musical maturity hardwon through over a decade of shows and releases, matched by lyrics with an intensely honest and perspective-inverting look at the human soul. 2016’s EP Viscera, the first in a series of yearly EPs, is the perfect follow-up. The project is characterized by the same ethereal vocals and lyrics exploring raw spirituality as found on Behold, while introducing some of the grittiest guitar tones of any My Epic release yet.

The name Viscera is Latin, and it refers to a person’s internal organs. The title proves fitting for a collection of five songs that all explore the vital blood and breath of human experience. Lead single “Ghost Story” sets the tone for the project, honestly expressing the process of redemptive rebirth and the sacrifice involved: “Seeds will never bloom till they die, / wicks don’t shine until they’re on fire / and every newborn leaves a scar to remind. / If it costs me nothing is it worth anything? / I hear you calling me but God I am scared, still if you lead me I will follow you there.”

That kind of visceral rebirth is explored further in moody “Memoir,” a song that sings “I was finished / slept in grave after grave and waited buried / but the end I deserved never came.” The lyrics are backed by rhythmic piano and guitar lines that serve to drive the message of restoration home. The haunting instrumental interlude “Cesura” bridges the space between “Memoir” and “Wive’s Tale,” a song with guitar tones and structure almost reminiscent of Anberlin as the song explores the deep rawness of vulnerable relationships.

“Open Letter” wraps the EP with a sharp guitar tone and the searing question “what kind of God makes a world like this?” The open letter to God, expressing the turmoil of faith and doubt, is backed by perfectly balanced guitar and keyboard tones, tied together by smooth percussion to create possibly the most textured sonicscape on the collection. The song is a fitting conclusion thematically to a project full of prayers wrenched from the core of the human heart.

Full of hard-edged guitar tones, otherworldly vocals and lyrics that are both vividly poetic and intensely human, Viscera is the best yet from My Epic. The five tracks are just enough to satisfy the listener while building anticipation for the EPs to come.

You can find Viscera on iTunes and Spotify.

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