Thursday, October 15, 2015

New Years Day : " Malevolence"

The opening riff is very nu-metal, but the the atmosphere makes this come across a little more like Lacuna Coil, though singer Ashley Costello, who has graced Revolver's Hottest Chicks in Metal issue has a more commercial and less metal feel to her voice. The guitar takes a more sonic tone in the bridge. Right from the first song it is clear they are good at what they do, it is going to take the rest of the album for me to decide if I like what they do. Granted this is more radio friendly than what I normally listen to. I know they have toured with industrial bands before so I thought they might be more gothy than this. They hit a less interesting middle of the road that would appeal more to people who like Sick Puppies than me.

The melody to "Alone" is smoother. Its somewhat typical hard-rock, but the vocal melody propels the song. There is almost more of a Myspace emo manner to how they attack the choruses on songs like "Left Inside" which does have some interesting darker bridges , but they are brief and the attempts at 2000's arena rock are more dominate. This is the first song where Costello takes on a more screamed vocal tone. She has more urgent hooks on " Relentless" but there is also more of a Trapt thing going on musically. They find more of a rock groove on "Save Myself From Me". It is not as explosive as some of the songs. They do much better when they back off at the beginning of "Suffer" to give a wider dynamic range to the song. This song also feels like it gives Costello more room to open up and sing.

Lyrically its the typical pre-packaged angst there are a few lines like "compare each other's scars and see who had it worse" that stand out. Of course they have to go for a bigger sound on "Anthem for the Unwanted". The very straight forward drumming feels like it is rushing the song a little. The chorus works for what they are doing. "Scream" has a poppier sound with a slight hint of electronics at the beginning , which is a sound I think they should delve deeper into. Then they get back to more post-Korn radio rock on "Your Voice". I will say they are darker than bands like Halestorm. It doesn't open any new doors for them. The electronica returns to the fringes of "Defame Me". Its  catchy radio friendly rock song with a strong hook at the chorus, so mission is accomplished. The title track which is featured below starts off as one of their heavier moments, then transitions into a groove that is more suitable for her voice. Their formula stays intact and it works here.

I am not these guys target audience aside from the fact I can appreciate goth chicks trying to rock out. These kids are a well oiled machine and have a tightly coiled formula intact, I just heard moments that suggested paths to a more unique sound which would take them off the path to being a big radio rock band into something darker and more interesting. For what this is I'll give it a 6.5.

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