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Stand-Out Track: No. 1, “With a Thousand Words to Say but One,” a rare heartfelt ballad by D.C.’s garglingest thrash-metal quintet

Has hard-boiled lyricist John Henry gone soft? Since coming off last summer’s Ozzfest, he seems to have turned his thoughts from touring to taking a romantic getaway: “I just want to take you where our time won’t waste anymore through the mountains on the water,” he entreats. “We’ll stay engulfed in one another and when I can wake up to see the sunrise in your eyes then we’ll finally be free.” Awww. If your special someone doesn’t mind Henry’s retching delivery, she’ll melt.

Musical Motivation: “It’s kinda personal,” Henry explains. “I was trying to get my girl back, ya know? I got dumped for a while and had a pretty rough spot in my life.”

A lapse of metalhead machismo? Maybe. But Henry’s lovesick wailing worked: “She’s staying with me now,” he says proudly—although he thinks the relatively gooey number “sets a weird tone for the record.”

Guitarist Mike Schleibaum downplays the song’s deviation from the rest of Undoing Ruin. “I think we wrote it sixth out of all 11, and to us, we knew it was a strong song but didn’t really see it as the single or first song,” he says.

“It is actually the same chord progression the whole time,” Schleibaum adds. “We wanted a song that was really epic as well as not too long.”

—Chris Shott