Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Tirades of Truth: Dead By April - Dead by April

So I don't hide the fact just how big of fan I am of Nightrage's 3rd album A New Disease is Born. In fact, I would probably rank it #2 behind Descent Into Chaos. And there is one big reason for it, Jimmie Strimmell. His vocals were a lot more diverse than Tompa's (which is big considering put Tompa as one of my all time favorite vocalists). His screams were almost dead on to Tompa's, but his cleans were simply amazing and had to be heard.

So I was disappointed to learn he left the band. I soon realized that the real driving force behind Nightrage was/is Mario Iliopoulos. But I read Jimmie was doing a metal/pop fusion band, Dead by April. I am a sucker for good pop and I love his vocals so I was pretty excited for this. That excitement didn't last long.

The album starts off with something that sounds like Linkin Park, yes Jimmie now sounds like Chester Bennington. WTF?!? On a quick side note, funny how this sounds like Chester Bennington and he started a new band called Dead by Sunrise...coincidence? I will play the first track (Trapped) below, but it is a far cry from metal. The song starts off with some generic keyboard playing and goes down from there. This isn't metal, maybe mainstream rock, but the one thing that pissed me off more than the keyboards was that the screams I really liked were gone.

Despite the crapfest that comes out of the first track there are glimmering moments of potential on this album. They do let lose a bit more on the second track Angels of Clarity. This was released as a single and it really shows that potential. The keyboards aren't put in the foreground as much, but are still there. The song really reminds me of something that could have come off of In Flames' Soundtrack to Your Escape.

I could go track by track, but instead I will hit some of the few highlights. Losing You is not too bad. It is a slow mid-paced song with some classic screams, but the clean vocals come off as too whiny. Once again the keyboards play too big of a role. This is a good choice for a single and I actually think it was. Stronger is also a pretty good song. The downside is the keyboards again. The vocals are really strong on this song. He does a nice job of going from the harsh screams to a melodic chorus. But the keys are used a little too much. But you know how those Swedes love the keyboards.

Most of the songs tend to just start to sound alike after awhile. Mid-paced with keyboards. One thing that jumped out at me right away is the lack of solos. Don't call yourself a metal/pop band and don't have solos. When Jimmie does his screaming vocals they sound great. If Killswitch Engage ever needed another lead singer I would recommend him. He reminds me a lot of Jesse Leach.

I will give this band another chance. In fact, it's not a total piece of crap. It is what it is...a pop band with some screams, solid riffs, and a ton of keyboards. There is a lot of potential in this band. If they can go with a little more metal and less keyboards it's a winner.

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