While Ferret have definitely been branching out into the metal world lately, it would appear that Dead Hearts are the band that allow them to reconnect not only with their roots, but the roots of the hardcore scene itself. While obviously sporting much better production, this band delve back into the scene of old, a scene that was yet to be entirely tainted by the NY tough guy mentality that serves as the foundation for current torch bearing groups like Terror and Hatebreed.
Much of the material on "Bitter Verses" is explosive and energetic; with the band putting passion over musicianship as they mix hardcore tenacity with metal flourishes and whip it all into shape with a grizzled punk regiment. Their hunger and conviction shines through as the vocals are belted out overtop of raging beats and breakdowns that thankfully sound more like speed bumps than the catastrophic train wrecks one would normally expect.
Of course not everything is status quo here as the band do some soul searching through some post-hardcore styled melodic exploration. But the bulk of this album remains fierce and traditional enough to almost make one double check that it wasn't put out by Deathwish Inc. or Bridge Nine. Pedigree or not though, it will probably be the live experience that wins this band their fans as the album, while entirely competent, just isn't that memorable.
There's few moments of bold aggression that really hit home and even fewer choruses that readily stick out - both of which are traits bands like this often live and die by. Sure, these verses may be bitter, but unless you're sporting a hefty collection of 7"s and splits, they will likely be a bit boring as well.
(2.5 / 5)