Sound Advice: Eyes Set to Kill with Bad Seed Rising and The Nearly Deads (May 13)

Phoenix Metalcore band Eyes Set to Kill plays the Thompson House.

click to enlarge Eyes Set to Kill - Photo: Jim Louvau
Photo: Jim Louvau
Eyes Set to Kill
Since emerging from the Post Hardcore/Metalcore scene in Phoenix in 2003, Eyes Set to Kill has had a tumultuous history, enduring over a dozen lineup shifts, including perhaps the most fundamental in the band’s 14-year tenure.

In 2016, the band lost founding bassist Anissa Rodriguez, but more recently enlisted Tiaday Ball (ex-The World Over member) as her replacement. Another key lineup shift was the official addition of longtime touring guitarist and dirty vocalist A.J. Bartholomew. All of this was announced along with the release of the band’s new single “Break” and the news that Eyes Set to Kill’s first new album in four years will arrive before year’s end.

Eyes Set to Kill was originally the brainchild of Phoenix sisters Alexia and Anissa Rodriguez (on lead guitar and bass, respectively) and their friend Lindsey Vogt on lead vocals. A succession of backing musicians completed the lineup, but the arrival of drummer Caleb Clifton cemented the rhythm section for a decade. The band released its debut EP, When Silence is Broken, the Night is Torn, in 2006, but a little over a year later, Vogt and guitarist Alex Torres both departed. 

Rather than hire a replacement, Alexia became the band’s lead singer and Eyes Set to Kill (with new guitarist Greg Kerwin) recorded its full-length debut, Reach, featuring new material and a handful of re-recorded songs from the Silence EP. The album was followed up quickly by 2009’s darker and more menacing The World Outside.

In 2010, the band released its third album, the acclaimed Broken Frames, and later that same year, Alexia dropped her solo debut, Underground Sounds. Early in 2011, Kerwin left and was replaced by David Molina, just in time for the band’s Alaskan circuit and a stint on that year’s Warped Tour, after which Eyes Set to Kill started its own label and self-released White Lotus. In 2012, the band announced it had signed with noted Metal/Hard Rock label Century Media for its next album, 2013’s well-received Masks, which led to a relentless touring cycle.

In 2014, Anissa was hospitalized and successfully treated for a blood clot behind her eye, and last year she announced her departure from the band, which sparked unfounded breakup rumors. The recent release of “Break” finds the quartet steeped in vintage Screamo/Metalcore with a Black Sabbath underpinning, and Alexia has promised a healthy dose of new songs on the current “Break Into Action” tour. Set excitement to critical. 

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