MetalBite Review by Tobias on 11/8/2001
is a rather unusual band. The first piece of that uniqueness is that they are the first American band to really delve into this style of metalÖ with talent. The second piece that sets them apart is not the juxtaposed clean-and-scream vocals, but the way that the dirty end of it is executed.
Let me be a little clearer; Bonner
ís vocals when clean are usually harmonized with a second vocal track (of his own making, I assume) so you get an emo-goth style very similar to HIM
or at times closer to Depeche Mode
. But when the intensity rises and the vocals get dirty, rather than the melodic-death growls weíre used to hearing with bands like Dark Tranquility
, you get shredded with much more of a hardcore influenced scream.
But is it good? Well, at first, while discussing it with a cohort, we both felt that the dirty vocals didnít fit very well. After giving it a few more listens though, I like the dirty vocals much more than the clean. The clean have far too much emo-style in it for my own taste. Yet, personal taste aside, both are executed with excellent control.
Damn, Iím listening to it right now and Iím really loving these mean screams.
Weíve seen the fade-and-punch blueprint for this type of music before in many bands because it works and works really well. Lilitu
at times will deliver with utter flawlessness in this area, but at times, particularly in I Cannot Be Saved
, the shift from slow and beautiful to fast and intense feels very awkward.
Overall, the songwriting and composition is well done. It boasts complexity that doesnít eat itself, tagged with the occasional guitar-wanking licks thrown in for good measure. The title track, memorial
is probably my favorite because it throws in some great vocal arrangements along with some fabulous and original keyboards and guitar-yanking that reminded me of the fantastic artistic expression of Sigh
. However, Unwill
is certainly not to be overlooked.
This is a great debut and this band without a doubt deserves some major label promotion. Century Media should be eyeing this release with a hungry smirk.
While Iíd drop some of the prettier emo-vocals, this bat is growing some great wings, a creative force on the horizon.