Stories of Ambition
What Are Words Without Meaning
Tanzan Recordings/Zach Warren
Street: 01.18
Stories of Ambition = early Atreyu + As I Lay Dying 
Stories of Ambition is ambitious, indeed. While the band has added members since the recording, everything on this album was written and performed (or in the case of the drums, written and programmed) by one man, Zach Hyte, formerly of Oh, Antarctica. I don’t care what genre you are, that is impressive as fuck, and so is the talent on this EP. Vocal lines are clean, strong and smooth, reminiscent of more vocal-heavy bands like Saosin, but with an added metal punch. Production value is excellent, as is the mixing, allowing little moments like layered vocal chants and held-out guitar notes to really shine. The use of electronics is modest and its placement is well chosen. All the hardcore/metalcore elements are here: thick riffs, brutal breakdowns and catchy melodic hooks, and they’re well written, if not quite “breaking the mold” on the familiar genre. The guest guitar solo by If We Start This Fire’s Austin Cochran in “Deadlist” is one of the best moments, adding deeper, traditional metal roots with its old school tone. This is a short but notable ride from a born musician.