Albuquerque metalcore band Pieces of the Past demonstrate great grit with their first full-length album, Death Wishes.

In late 2020, the nu-metal-influenced band made this formidable step in establishing longevity and dedication as artists. Having last released an EP in 2016, Pieces of the Past is now woven into the tapestry of great New Mexican music that transpired during the pandemic.

One of the best parts about Death Wishes is that there are no bells and whistles. Pieces of the Past put together a full-length with a solid structure that has no weak spots. This means it is a good album to listen to all the way through. The album begins as one would expect—mosh opportunities galore, decent screaming, and plenty heavy. It is clear right away that Death Wishes will tug at some emotions, specifically by using some cutting lyrics.

The fourth track of the album, “Tunnel Vision,” is where things start to shake up. “Tunnel Vision” crosses boundaries that other tracks had not yet crossed. There are strong writing decisions behind this song.


After “Tunnel Vision” is probably my favorite track, “Hate Me.” It’s got a punk driving force, and I knew halfway through the first listen that I would want to hear again. I buy the angst and self-loathing that this song presents.

“Withering Away” attempts to be dissonant and contradict itself. It is with this song that I’m finally noticing the work that the keyboard is putting in. The keys create a top-heavy experience for Death Wishes. Where it might be better to have a secure, stacked spine to make for organic muscle building, I feel like the spine of this album is feathery but has to hold a big, meaty body. There are gentle keys fighting heavy riffage from the rest of the instruments. Despite this imbalance, by this point in the album—halfway through—it has picked up momentum and, honestly, gained some trust.

The album succeeds in setting specific moods; “I’m Sorry” does have the feeling of genuine remorse, and the final track of the album, “Suicide Note,” is deliberately placed at the end—perhaps on the nose—but achieves the desired impact.

Death Wishes
One of the best parts about Death Wishes is that there are no bells and whistles.

What makes me appreciate this album are tracks eight and nine, “Save Me” and “Hollow,” respectively. Pieces of the Past could have just continued putting in 3- to 5-minute-long mosh-ers, but they chose to include “Save Me,” which serves as sort of an interlude as well as the predecessor to the final three tracks of the album; it gave me the feeling that I had to gear up for something explosive. The swift transition into “Hollow” is smooth and satisfying.

Pieces of the Past gave Death Wishes a body and a soul from the ground up; deliberate writing choices from song creation to album structure made it a good listen. I would recommend this album to people who like As I Lay Dying, Motionless in White, and even Slipknot. And, of course, I would recommend it to people trying to get familiar with metalcore or who would like to see a contemporary effect of nu-metal.

Article By August Edwards