Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Review: Jungle Rot - Kill On Command

Band: Jungle Rot
Album: Kill On Command
Year: 2011
Country: USA
Genre: Death Metal

Well this is a treat! I am so happy I finally decided to look into Jungle Rot, and especially that Kill On Command was my first experience with them. This is pure face smashing death metal. Do you know how people mention the boneheaded chest beating neanderthal death metal some people talk about? Yeah that is what this is, but its actually really great stuff.

What's quite intriguing about the music you hear on KOC is that there is a certain element of hardcore to it. No no no not the deathcore type but actual genuine death metal with proper hardcore influences. You can especially hear it in the breakdowns. We have all heard our fair share of breakdowns but Jungle Rot doesn't go overboard throwing too many into one song. In fact the breakdowns that are there (No Mercy, and Push Comes To Shove for example) are interesting because the fellas decided to actually add something to them and play different riffs over them or throw in guitar solos so that they aren't the borefest we are all used to. Not only that but there is an actual style of riffing that sounds very punk/hardcore like in tracks like Born of Contagion, and I Predict A Riot. This is actually refreshing since I have found so few bands who successfully combine elements of hardcore with death metal while still maintaining a proper death metal sound. Not to mention Rise Up and Revolt has a killer intro!

The vocals are a deep throaty sort but not so dissonant that you cant understand what is being said. I'm not sure if there are effects done to them in the studio but they sound good, and sort of different. Whether it was added or natural I like it. The bass seems to be a little buried in the mix but if you pay attention you will notice it there. It mostly just goes along with the guitars though. The drumming is solid, and pretty conservative with the blasts. No constant blasting here but it is peppered through the album here and there. One thing that is a little annoying, and this will be different for everyone, is the sound of the bass drum. It sounds a little odd and I don't especially like it especially during the double bass parts.

So chalk this up as a win for Jungle Rot. This is really good mid paced death metal with a good amount of groove to it and a dash of hardcore thrown in for good measure. All the songs are generally sounding the same but I could equate them to Bolt Thrower, it may sound similar but it sounds good. There is the cruddy sounding bass drum but its not at all a deal breaker. Cheers to JR for successfully melding bits of hardcore (awesome breakdowns, hardcore like riffs, and gang shouts) with death metal without it sounding like garbage.

Score: 8.5/10
Standout Tracks: Blood Ties, Rise Up and Revolt, Push Comes to Shove, Born of Contagion

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Review: Morbid Angel - Illud Divinum Insanus

Band: Morbid Angel
Album: Illud Diviunum Insanus
Year: 2011
Country: USA
Genre: Death Metal

I had briefly sampled a few of the songs off of IDI back when the album had first come out. I felt almost embarrassed at the time. As someone who follows numerous metal blog and forum sites, experiencing people's shock and disgust over Morbid Angel's Illud Divinum Insanus was like watching a train crash. You knew something awful was happening but it's just too difficult to take your eyes off of it. So lets get this out of the way, all the negative things you have heard about this album are true.

MA fans seemed to be really excited about the I album. Maybe it was because it had been 8 years since the last album, maybe it was because David Vincent was back, but they couldn't have been expecting this. You can easily split the album into two forms of music. There are the proper death metal songs like Beauty Meets Beast, Nevermore, Blades of Baal, and Existo Vulgore. Then you have the techno/industrial saturated tracks with hints of death metal like Too Extreme!, Radikult, Destructos Vs the Earth, and I Am Morbid.

First I will get into the pure death metal tracks. They are really lame. Alright, Beauty Meets Beast is actually a good song, in fact the only one on the album. Nevermore is just ok. I mean Nevermore/Blades of Baal/Existo Vulgore are just pretty mediocre death metal with some groove in them. But compared to the other tracks on the album these shine, but they still aren't all that good. Thing of a generic by the numbers death metal song and any of these three would probably sound pretty similar to that.

This album has become so infamous that its spawned its own memes within the metal community. Who hasn't seen/heard someone randomly shout or type Too Extreme! or Killa Cop? Those memes alone made those songs difficult to listen to. Once the instrumental Omni Potens finished and the awful electronic drum beat started for Too Extreme! I knew this was going to be a chore. The first time David Vincent screamed "Too Extreme!" I couldn't help but chuckle. That happens a lot on this album. Those electronic drums also sound downright dreadful, like this was some sort of Ministry joke track. The album ends almost as badly as it starts with Radikult being the second to last track. MA completely ape Marilyn Manson and you can't help but think they were listening to The Beautiful People way too much as they were writing this track. This one also got some laughs from me, listen yourself and tell me how this can be taken seriously.

Lyrically Illud is just as comedic as the music. It's mostly tough guy bullshit or some weird shallow science fiction crap. The tough guy songs are even worse because the band seems to have a complete hard on for themselves. Too Extreme, and I Am Morbid seem to be about how super duper awesome the band are. I'm glad they are here to tell us these things, how ironic. To put it simply, there is just no substance here.

David Vincent's vocals are really nothing special here. He gives your run of the mill performance that fails to impress. Maybe hes just getting old, but its not super bad. Just a bit boring. Then there is the bass, or is there? You could have fooled me cause I didn't hear any. The production is a minor annoyance since the vocals soar over everything else, which sucks cause they aren't much to write home about. The drumming sounds kind of fake, especially the double bass. Some parts seem programed which sounds like trash and the real drumming isn't the least bit interesting.

The major reason this album fails isn't because of the electronic parts, but because the electronic parts just aren't done well. It comes off sounding like some awful joke/satire of 90s industrial metal. And not only do the industrial songs sound like shit but they are some of the longest on the album and get most of the time. I just can't see how the members of Morbid Angel thought they could get away with this and not be the laughing stock of the metal scene. Even the straight up death metal tracks are bad with the exception of Beauty Meets Beast. And now there is news of a Remix album? I guess here goes round 2.

Score: 2.5/10
Standout Track: Beauty Meets Beast

Friday, November 25, 2011

Review: Evocation - Apocalyptic

Band: Evocation
Album: Apocalyptic
Year: 2010
Country: Sweden
Genre: Death Metal

During the mid to late 00s we began to see the new wave of old school Swedish death metal bands begin to permeate the death metal scene. With these new bands came a few who were both new and old. Evocation is a death metal act who released a few demos in the early 90s before going on hiatus. The band later reformed and started releasing new material and Apocalyptic is their sophomore effort.

While Evocation plays in the style of Entombed and Dismember (crunchy guitar tone and all) they are also a bit unique. Why? Well they also seem to take queues from mid 90s melodic death metal as well. Most specifically you can hear some At the Gates Slaughter of the Soul type stuff in the guitar riffs. So we could say musically Evocation is 2 parts Stockholm death metal and 1 part Gothenburg. But don't let that worry you, the Gothenburg influences it isn't the flowery folk/power metal stuff of bands like In Flames but the thrashy guitar harmonies of AtG. I personally enjoy this greatly.

Sweet Obsession kicks off the album with a fast picked intro that calls to mind the hallmark Sunlight Studios buzzsaw guitar tone the Stockholm bands are known for. Evocation seem to be masters of creating pleasing yet aggressive melodies that are catchy without being pretty. Every song on the album is a winner in my book. Psychosis Warfare showcases the band's ability to seamlessly blend the conflicting OSSDM and melodeath sounds perfectly. The band plays mostly mid paced death metal but they occasionally slow down here and there like on Its All Your Fault.

Expect a lot of the fast snare hits from drummer Janne Boden which isn't too different from what you hear on SotS. He also throws in some nice blasting here and there as well but doesn't do it the whole time. The Swedish bands always seem to know just when a blast is most effective rather than blasting the whole song long like many of their American counterparts were prone to do. I can hardly hear the bass of Martin Toresson but I do feel what I do hear is him giving a helping hand to the low end by following the already crushing guitars.

Vocalist Thomas Josefsson has a very strong voice. It is a bit on the higher side and he wouldn't sound out of place in a Carcass clone band imitating the brand of vocals Jeff Walker popularized. At times he will let out a lower proper death growl which sounds just as good.

If Evocation had just been another Dismember or At the Gates rip off band this probably would have been a rather boring album. But the fact that they use the templates laid by both bands puts them in a very unique spot giving them a niche for those who enjoy both sub-genres. While I enjoy the 90s output of Dark Tranquillity, At the Gates, and In Flames, this is true melodic death metal played the way it was meant to be. And not only does the band have a foot planted on both sides of the fence, they are damn good at it!

Score: 9/10
Standout Tracks:Psychosis Warfare, Sweet Obsession, Infamy

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Savage Messiah are offering their new album Plague Of Conscience, free!

Earache Records and the U.K. Thrash band Savage Messiah are cool enough to offer up Plague Of Conscience as a free download! Savage Messiah's third album will be coming out as a physical release (CD/Vinyl) on January 23rd this coming year.

As usual with Earache the only catch is you must enter your email address in order to get the download link. Check it out Here .

Review: Norther - Circle Regenerated

Band: Norther
Album: Circle Regenerated
Year: 2011
Country: Finland
Genre: Melodic Death/Power Metal

I'm really not into the whole Children of Bodom clone deal. CoB themselves and the bands they spawned have just never really interested me. They are dull, weak, and try to rape you with their over use of keyboards. When you use a shit band as the basis for your sound, results should be rather obvious. So its not wonder that Norther's new album, Circle Regenerated, is just not my cup of tea.

First of all the vocals are trash. Its like an even further watered down version of Alexi Laiho who sounds like crap to begin with. Setting aside the harsh vocals, who ever does the clean singing here needs to be fired. Its not the fact that there are even clean vocals at all, I can stand them but they have to be good. This is just not good singing. While the singing is on the melodic side its just not very good.

Lets see what else, oh the riffs! There isn't really much to talk about here. I mean they are there but seem so shallow and poppy. Its hard to find much substance to what the band has come up with on CR. I will admit the solos are melodic and probably the best part of the album. But when you look at the big picture that isn't really saying much, is it?

The drumming and bass are standard melodic death metal fare. Not that I can really hear the bass at all, but like I said, standard melodic death metal. You get what you would expect from these kind of bands for drumming. A lot of double bass, but overall the rest is boring and unimaginative. Some creativity in the drums (or the album as a whole) would have been nice. And the keyboards? When they take center stage as they always seem to do with these power metal melodeath hybrids, its just annoying. I personally enjoy keys when they are used for atmosphere but bands like Norther just love to shove it down your throat. The production is ok, but the guitars seem a little thin. They have no punch and come off as very light.

I just cannot enjoy this drivel. Its so derivative and Norther are basically aping an already worn out style. The guitar solos are the only redeeming factor in this album for me. Some of the chorus parts are just ok but since the rest of the song is crap it doesn't help too much. We already have a Children of Bottom, must we be subjected to a slew of other bands who sound like them? I guess if you like CoB or the other bands that follow that trend you might like this, but I still don't get why.

Score: 2/10
Standout Track: Please don't make me listen to any of this again!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Review: All Shall Perish - This Is Where It Ends

Band: All Shall Perish
Album: This Is Where It Ends
Year: 2011
Country: USA
Genre: Melodic Deathcore

Awaken the Dreamers is where I first got into All Shall Perish, but only after discovering the band Gunmetal Grey which Hernan Hermida fronted for their one and only release. I really have enjoyed the blend of melodic death metal and deathcore ASP are so good at and they have really perfected it on TIWIE.

Hernan's vocals are pretty unique, at least I haven't really come upon anyone else who sounds like him. He has a gravely high pitched growl he uses the majority of the time. He can actually get pretty high with it too and its impressive. There is also a lower death growl he throws in from time to time as well. I like that when you hear him you instantly know what band is playing and who is fronting it.

There are some really good melodic heavy riffs on the album too. While you have the more melodic tracks like There Is Nothing Left, Procession of Ashes, and The Past Will Haunt Us Both, there are heavier songs as well like My Retaliation, The Death Plague, and Royalty Into Exile. The Past Will Haunt Us Both is this album's Never Again..., its soft but aggressive at the time and full of emotion. The harmonies are excellent and there are plenty in every song.

While the drumming is nothing special its rather solid. Adam Pierce throws in lots of double bass which is pretty standard. The bass can be heard which is nice as well. I really like the production here too, its crisp, clear, and clean in all the right ways. Its clean but not overproduced like many modern bands often are. Everything seems to be mixed properly and nothing is too high or low in the mix.

This Is Where It Ends is another good release by All Shall Perish and is another bright spot in the melodic deathcore scene. With its mix melody and brutality ASP are on the right track here. There is really not much to dislike about TIWIE, my copy even had a Spanish version of Royalty In Exile which is pretty awesome little addition! Get this if you like All Shall Perish, Deathcore, melodic deathcore, or just really good extreme metal.

Score: 9/10
Standout Track: The Past Will Haunt Us Both, There Is Nothing Left, Royalty Into Exile

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Review: Threat Signal - Threat Signal

Band: Threat Signal
Album: Threat Signal
Year: 2011
Country: Canada
Genre: Melodic Death Metal

Threat Signal play some a sort of groovy melodic death metal along the lines of what Devildriver has done with their last couple of releases. But you can immediately tell they take a heavy influence from Fear Factory in the mechanical guitar riffs. With their third album the band streamlines their sound and becomes a bit more consistent.

The album starts off with what I think is probably the heaviest song here, Uncensored. TS shows they can get pretty heavy on this one and the blast beats are a treat, though I don't remember hearing them really on any other track. And I guess even if they were there they didn't stand out as much as they did here. A thing that began to bug me as time went on and I listened to the album a few times over was a certain sound the guitars made. Listen to just about any song on the album and you will notice the guitars make an almost snarling noise in every riff (which are repeated of course ad nauseum).

What usually bothered me in the past about Threat Signal was the clean vocals. Jon Howard has a dreadful singing voice. Its like hes channeling Chester Bennington from Linkin Park. Its nasally and comes off almost whiny, and not in the emo kind of way but the normal complaining manner that we all hate so much. Other than that his growls and screams are close to what Randy Blythe from Lamb of God sounds like. But a lot of what is used is like part Howard's singing voice half scream which doesn't really make the singing part of it sound any better. But his proper screams are decent and he throws in some lower death grunts here and there that sound really good.

The drumming is solid, though I wish Alex Rudinger had been able to throw in some more blasts. They sounded so well in Uncensored I think they missed a chance to keep that going for the rest of the album. And the bass seems to follow the guitars note for note, the norm for the genre. A nice fill here or there would be nice. I will give them credit for the great sounding production on the album though, its about perfect minus the annoying snarling guitar noise that is so prevalent.

Threat Signal (the album) is on the better side of average and actually even good if you can get over the parts I mentioned not enjoying. They have given us a decently crafted melodic death metal album that will please fans of the band and probably bring in a few more people who may have been on the fence. And on a closing note, they had a pretty sweet album cover made up as well!

Score: 7.5/10
Standout Tracks: Uncensored, Buried Alive

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Review: Suicide Silence - The Black Crown

Band: Suicide Silence
Album: The Black Crown
Year: 2011
Country: USA
Genre: Deathcore

I noticed Suicide Silence isn't on the Metal Archives and after listening to The Black Crown a few times I can understand. I suppose you can say that this band is deathcore but far more on the core side of things. There are a couple of alright songs here but for the most part its boring breakdown heavy deathCORE.

I don't actually mind one or two breakdowns a song, I'm a fan of deathcore and metalcore and even some hardcore so it's something that never bothered me. Except when a band goes way over the top with it. The Black Crown starts with Slaves to Substance and you automatically known there are going to be way too many breakdowns on this album. The chorus of the album is almost a borderline breakdown itself.

Then there is an almost Korn/nu metal sort of vibe to the music and structures (outside of the breakdowns...for the most part). O.C.D. is like a tribute to Korn the chorus reminds me of something that band would have written in the mid 90s. In fact take Korn's first self titled album throw death growls over it and add breakdowns and more double bass and it would probably sound something like this. Even the lyrics and song titles scream 90s nu metal angst with a track even called "Fuck Everything".

To round out the nu metal inspiration Jonathan Davis from Korn even does guest vocals on the song Witness the Addiction. This whole album is rather boring, there are just too many breakdowns! And what few riffs that are here between breakdowns aren't very imaginative or memorable. The vocals were probably the best part about The Black Crown for me. Cancerous Skies is a pretty decent song but it doesn't make up for a whole messy album.

I would suggest only listening to this if you don't mind breakdowns and/or already enjoy Suicide Silence.

Score: 3.5/10
Standout Track: Cancerous Skies

Friday, November 4, 2011

Review: Blood Stain Child - Epsilon

Band: Blood Stain Child
Album: Epsilon
Year: 2011
Country: Japan
Genre: Electronic Melodic Death Metal

The Japanese are known for being really out there when it comes to most things, their music included. If anyone was wondering what happens when you throw electronic music/melodic death metal/metalcore and bits and pieces of what seems like J pop in a blender Blood Stain Child have given you Epsilon. I had heard a song or two previously but I was in for a strange ride when I decided to review this album.

So there is some bad news. A number of the songs on Epsilon are extremely unbalanced when it comes to how much of one style or another they put in a song. Like Dedicated to Violator. Sure it has a cool name but the electronic portion totally pushes all the other instruments to the back of the mix. I mean I wouldn't be surprised to hear this playing in a club somewhere. The same goes for tracks like SOPHIA, Electricity, and the aforementioned Dedicated to Violator. In all these songs the band takes a back seat to the female vocalist and the electronic music.

There are other tracks as well which are more in the vein of proper melodic death metal but with electronic bits present throughout, just not to the degree that the others possess. These types of songs can be put into two camps, the melodic death songs with mostly clean vocals, and with mostly harsh vocals. With female vocals the woman actually has a pretty strong voice and coupled with the heavier music it works completely. La+ is catchy throughout, and Stargazer, and Moon Light Wave all play to the strengths I mentioned before. Catchy music, good vocals, all with strong pop sensibilities.

While growler Ryo is allowed to take part in most of the songs i've mentioned its in very much a back seat kind of way. He can be heard though his screams are usually muffled in order to give the female singer, Sophia, priority over him. Luckily there are a few heavier songs where both he and the music turn it up a few notches. This is pretty much when the band is at their best too, Sirius VI, Forever Free, and for the most part Unlimited Alchemist are all pretty much just good melodic death metal. The band seems to have adopted some of the metalcore riffing start stop kind of thing though which I personally have gotten tired of. Most every band in that genre and way too many melodeath bands do it already.

There are also some songs that just plain suck as well. Sai-Ka-No is a slow boring bit that sounds completely like a pop ballad. Merry-Go-Round is about the same though there is more use of guitars through most of it the over all electronic sounds they use are just yawn inducing. Dedicated to Violator is almost embarrassing to listen to. There are guitars way in the background and screams here and there but its just screaming for effect rather than anything intelligible.

One of the biggest issues I have with Epsilon and BSC is that the album does not flow well. The styles are so jumbled that the album is incredibly disjointed. You could probably separate the songs by what style dominates them and have 3 different EPs worth of music and each would sound rather different. This makes it really hard to listen to. And while the female vocals are good, she is given way too much time over the harsh vox. Sometimes it actually works well like on La+ where the woman does 90% of the singing but its so hit and miss on Epsilon as a whole. They also need to tone down the techno stuff a little, on some songs it overwhelms all the other instruments and even at times the growls its almost like there is no point having the band play when they are washed out by computerized garbage.

Epsilon has a few good songs (La+, Sirius VI, Moon Light Wave, Eternal) but the rest is challenging to listen to because it skips from domineering genres from song to song. The vocals also follows this same pattern. The good stuff here is really good, but the rest is forgettable and mostly annoying and weak. I guess at least BSC can say they tried something new, though it is a moderate failure.

Score: 5.5/10
Standout Track: La+, Eternal, Sirius VI

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Review: Exhumed - All Guts, No Glory

Band: Exhumed
Album: All Guts, No Glory
Year: 2011
Country: USA
Genre: Death Metal

Imagine if Carcass had decided to make an album while they were transitioning from the gore drenched death metal of Necroticism to the melody ridden Heartwork. A best of both worlds if you will. I imagine it would sound something like what Exhumed have brought us with AGNG. Being a Carcass clone doesn't mean you can't still make great music (i.e. Impaled), and if there is one release that proves that its this one.

Now the really deep gutturals are here like you would expect, but they are just an addition (though a good one) to the main vocal style of Matt Harvey. These are much higher but not in the same way Jeff Walker does it. Walker does more of a snarl while Harvey sounds similar to Tomas Lindberg if a little lower pitched. At first this kind of annoyed me but after too long I noticed there is something endearing about Mett's screams.

There is a pretty good dose of melody in this album but one thing it doesn't lack is savagery. You can actually draw quite a few parallels to Heartwork here. There is the melodic soloing on As Hammer To Anvil, Through Cadaver Eyes and most other songs along with the harmonies of Your Funeral, My Feast, I Rot Within, and Through Cadaver Eyes. But there is the furious no nonsense aggression from Necroticism on Death Knell, and Necrotized. Now most songs actually contain all these elements and use them to great affect no less. I need to give special to mention to the album closer So Let It Be Rotten...So Let It Be Done. This song is probably the most fun to listen to for the catchy chorus alone.

There is lots of blasting on this album and the drumming is very tight. The drummer keeps up well with the usually speedy approach used by the guitars. The bass is back there somewhere and occasionally makes it known there is even a bassist but it seems to mostly just follow the guitars note for note which is a little boring. The production is really solid for this album as well. All Guts, No Glory is pretty clean sounding, the guitars are thick the drums are pronounced and the vocals aren't buried in between them.

So with a mix of the melodic and energetic this album gives all you could ask for in a Carcass clone but so much more. An amalgam of Heartwork and Necroticism that we didn't get to experience with that band. This makes All Guts, No Glory sort of a unique clone, which I know hardly makes any sense, but in the end it really does. Exhumed deliver the goods and give us everything we need to thrash away.

Score: 8.5/10
Standout Tracks: So Let it Be Rotten...So Let It Be Done, Your Funeral, My Feast, Through Cadaver Eyes

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Review: Bleeding Through - Bleeding Through

Band: Bleeding Through
Album: Bleeding Through
Year: 2010
Country: USA
Genre: Metalcore

Metalcore gets a pretty bad rap at times but there are a few bands who stand out above all others. Bleeding Through happens to be among the elite of the metalcore scene. It mostly has to do with the fact that they meet an almost perfect blend of both metal and hardcore. Where most metalcore bands play plain boring and ultimately simple (beyond belief at times) hardcore with some metal elements thrown in.

First I need to mention I have The Truth and This Is Love, This Is Murderous but skipped over Declaration. If you've heard anything before Declaration you know BT is basically a mix of At the Gates styled melodic death metal, Hardcore, and some regular ole death metal.

But here you can tell the band are taking a heavier influence from black metal these days. A big reason is the keyboards and their role in the music. They provide a lot of atmosphere and a little melody like you would expect from some black metal bands. But it is also in the riffs. Most songs have hyper fast riffing that could be mistaken for something a proper black metal group would play mixed among the breakdowns and thrash riffs. Anti-Hero has a few instances of this, the tremolo riffs and they are sprinkled in different spots on the album. And the soloing is more fleshed out than on previous albums. They are both more numerous and interesting to listen to. Just take a listen to the solo in Divide the Armies.

Brian seems to have almost completely abandoned his lower growls for a higher pitched scream. I've never had a problem with his style and actually enjoyed his lows so I have to admit the higher sounding growls he uses here grate a little with me. They aren't a deal breaker and not even necessarily that bad its just a little high for my taste at times. The cleans are hardly there anymore as well. On Salvation Never Found, Divide the Armies, Light My Eyes, and Distortion Devotion they pop up but for the most part sparingly. I enjoy what they did here, only using cleans when they make the music better rather than going the formulaic route of just stuffing them in during the chorus.

The drumming is also really good too. There is a lot of blasting throughout the album but it isn't overkill, there is just enough. The bass is no where to be found of course but oh well.

With their sixth album Bleeding Through have created a heaping mass of aggressive, angry, and well put together metalcore. They've put together a number of different genres successfully and pretty seamlessly at that. While there are only a few tracks that stand out based on the style most of the album follows (Light My Eyes, Distortion, Devotion) they are just as good as anything else here and don't suffer for it. On their self titled the band has solidified their position as belonging to the small number of metalcore bands that you can be proud to listen to.

Score: 8.5/10
Standout Tracks: Light My Fire, Anti-Hero, Salvation Never Found

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Review: Mutiny Within - Mutiny Within

Band: Mutiny Within
Album: Mutiny Within
Year: 2010
Country: USA
Genre: Progressive Melodic Death Metal

This band (and album) seemed to not be received very well by some people in the metal community. I honestly cannot figure out why! Sure it isn't "brutal", but not all bands have to be. Mutiny Within play some blend of progressive melodic death metal but you wouldn't be far off calling them progressive/technical power metal with harsh vocals. Either way the melodic tag is what really fits the band best.

This album has a number of good things going for it and one of them is singer/growler Chris Clancey. Clancey has an incredibly strong singing voice that is sort of in the vein of power metal in that it is usually done in a higher register. This guy can really belt it out for sure. A lot of the songs are done in cleans only, the strongest probably being Undone. He also throws in growls as well and while they aren't as strong as his singing it doesn't really sound forced. He seems to pick and choose the right moment to let out a scream so they aren't just shoved into songs for the sake of having harsh vocals.

Next is the music itself. The guitar riffs bash your brains out with melody. I mean a number of these songs could easily be put on the radio and become popular. Don't get me wrong they are absolutely a metal band but listen to songs like Undone, or Forsaken and you can see that the band clearly had the ability to become something big in the metal scene. The guitar playing is sort of technical in that it can be complex at times while keeping a thrashy speed. But as for speed as a whole the album is all over the place, but they were composed so that they flow well.

The drumming is straight up melodeath style but a bit more inventive than the norm. There is a good bit of double bass but there is some variety as well so it doesn't become boring. The bass is mostly inaudible accept for a few parts of the album where it is given the center stage for a moment or two (like at the start of the second verse of Images). There are also some keys and they are put to good use never really being pushed over the rest of the band but making it known they are there.

This album is a great piece of melodic/death metal and if I were to describe it the best I could say is that it sounds like an American version of Scar Symmetry. Maybe Roadrunner fumbled the ball with this band but there is no reason why they didn't become much bigger than they did and unfortunately they are now on hiatus. With strong vocals and music with a massive amount of melody its really a shame Mutiny Within were looked over by most in the metal community.

Score: 9/10
Standout Tracks: Undone, Lethean, Forsaken, Year of Affliction