Stitched Up Heart – To The Wolves (Album Review)

Making their way for well over a decade now, Stitched Up Heart are a part of the new wave of female-fronted modern Metal bands. The vision of Alecia ‘Mixi’ Demner, the talented vocalist has stood fast through the twists and turns that come with being in a band. Not giving up, the band was signed onto Another Century label (Century Media subdivision) in 2015, released the album Never Alone in 2016, followed up strongly with Darkness in 2020, and now look to take the next bold step forward in 2023 with To the Wolves.

The band’s third overall studio album, it is important to reflect on where Stitched Up Heart came from to understand where they are going. As mentioned, they are proven to be warriors in the turbulent modern music scene; putting out three EPs before evening getting signed. This stick–to–itiveness resulted in touring spots with the likes of Lacuna Coil, Lacey Sturm, In This Moment, Halestorm, and even Godsmack. That said, like many others, Stitched Up Heart has also sustained lineup changes, but have been fortunate to keep the same chemistry going since 2014; this includes Mixi on lead vocals, James Decker on drums, Merritt Goodwin on lead guitar, and Randy Mathias on bass. So, with these factors in mind, where does the band go artistically after 2020’s Darkness?

A good question, overall, it feels like they have gone a little bit heavier this go-around. Always a hybrid of sounds – that include synthesizers, crushing Metal guitars, and powerful vocals – To the Wolves seems to experiment a little more. The production is very modern, the vocals quite layers, and the overall approach is more robust. What does this mean? It means that these new songs have a more in-your-face modern Metal feel and less, shall we say, melancholic one. Now, this is not to say the darker side of Stitched Up Heart is gone, because it is not, it is very present, just drenched with more heaviness than before.

A record with a whole lot going on, some of the biggest highlights include the title-track with Escape the Fate, the addictive “Immortal” and powerful “Conquer and Divide.” And those looking for the moodier side of Mixi’s voice, recommendations include “Taste For Blood,” the seductive “Part of Me,” and eerie closer “The End.”

In all, this album is full of really good songs that highlight the diversity of the band and Mixi’s voice. Very energetic, it is a bold step forward for the band that shows they are not afraid of trying something new. All these positives in mind, some might find the production perhaps a little too modern at points. Really a matter of preference, the songs themselves are what standout, and that is what matters above all. That is why Cryptic Rock gives To the Wolves 4 out of 5 stars.

Stitched Up Heart – To The Wolves / Another Century (2023)

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