Written by: Cal Lockhart
Published: 09 Jul 2016 - 12:47 PM




Before we get into it, I would like to preface this review with an important disclaimer - I am not a fan of metalcore. I don't have anything against any of the bands or fans of this genre - however, my tastes just don't seem to align with any of the music I have heard from these bands. So, whilst reading this review, keep in mind that you are reading something of an outsider perspective; these are just my personal opinions based on what I heard in the music, but if I have missed or misinterpreted any certain nuances or facets of the music, please let me know. 

However, as an outsider to the genre, I think I am in a relatively fair position to say that I don't believe, from what I have seen, that these guys really do enough to catch the interest of non-metalcore fans. Of course, that is by no means a necessarily bad thing - after all, there's nothing wrong with playing music you like, for people who like your music. That said, I do like to think that these boys have the potential to try something that pushes the envelope a little bit and to add a little bit more depth and experimentation to their music and art. In fact, I find the brief moments where this song attempts to do this are actually the best and most interesting. 

The music video consists of the band playing the song in what appears to be an old abandoned warehouse. The band is set up just on the ground, without any stage, or risers or obvious lighting. This simplicity allows the cameraman to truly focus on the performance, by centring the individual band members in different shots. It's nothing too groundbreaking, but it mostly looks pretty good and very well done. That said, I would have preferred more shots where the entire band can be seen playing all together from the front-on. Interestingly, I have noticed a distinct absence of these in the music videos of most new emerging bands, though I have no idea whether this is an aesthetic choice, or a technical limitation of some description. It would also be good to see more of a focus on what the band members are actually playing at the time - for example, shots of the guitarists where you can clearly see the fretwork, and so on. I will admit, though, that those are just pedantic, nit-picky things which I don't think really detract from the video in any way - I would just be curious to see how it would look otherwise. In terms of the band's performance, it was very good to see the obvious energy and enthusiasm these guys have - however, there are moments where the movements become a bit too over-stylised, and this can occasionally be a little distracting. Again, this is an issue I notice in a lot of emerging bands, and not something that I feel is really a major concern. However, what I do think really does take away from the potential power of the filmclip is the fact that it is just a little bit too derivative. I mean, obviously, for an emerging band, it's gonna be pretty hard to afford something like a Tool music video. with surrealist stop motion animation and cryptic, grandiose concepts - especially bands getting started in this day and age (trust me, I know the feeling!). That said, everything about this video feels like something I have seen time and time again from all kinds of young metalcore type bands. The whole aesthetic, from the five second opening shot of the vocalist on a black/grey background, to the place where they're playing, to the colour palette and lighting, and even down to the font used for the title card, just screams "another Amity Affliction metalcore band". I mean, this doesn't make the video any less well-produced, and the band obviously put a lot of effort into it - however, I would just really like to see what would happen if these guys tried doing something a little different.

In a similar manner, the song is pleasant to listen to, with a couple of good riffs and pretty solid production. However, the problem is that, in my opinion, there is not enough contrast and variation, both between the individual parts of the song, and also on a wider scale (i.e. in relation to other bands). Throughout the song, there aren't really all that many textural or dynamic changes, or features unique to this band - it's pretty much all at the same tempo and volume, with the same kind of chugga-chugga riffs and chord progressions always heard throughout this kind of music. Essentially, it's one of those songs that wasn't unpleasant to listen to, but which I had trouble remembering once it had finished. I think that some options for improvement would be, for example, experimenting with a soft-loud dichotomy, or adding layers upon layers onto the same riff, or experimenting with unusual keys and modes, or even adding in a synth pad or string section or whatever. Sure, it might end up not working out in the end, but I really would like to hear these guys experiment with something like that, even if just to see how it sounds. That's not to say the song is entirely bereft of any nuances at all - there are certain moments which, I think, showed the band to be on the right track, but which needed to just be expanded upon. For example, the wordless clean vocal harmonies in the background are definitely pretty interesting and add an extra layer to the song that is missing in a lot of it. Additionally, about three quarters of the way into the song, the riffs back off for a second, and there are just these subtle, reverbed and delayed lead guitar lines, which then lead into a crescendoing build-up, and back into the intro riff. For me, that moment was actually the highlight of the song. All in all, I'd say that some more control and variation in the dynamics would really do these guys some good. 

So, in essence, this was a pretty good effort all-up, but one that didn't really attract me due to my own personal preferences. I would also really like to see the band trying out and experimenting with some different, more innovative and dynamic features in both their videos and their music, and I do get the feeling that they really have it in them to do so. Fans of metalcore, in general, will love this, however, and if that's your thing, I urge you to check these guys out, buy their stuff, and just generally keep on supporting emerging local bands. If like me, you're not big on the whole metalcore thing, there's probably not much here to hold your interest, but I would still say wait around a little while - I think these guys really do have a lot of potential. 

Review Summary: If you like other similar bands, like The Amity Affliction or Northlane, you'll love this; however, a bit more variation would make it a lot more interesting, I think.

Overall Ranking: B-