Review Summary: 3 Mile Scream could be the band that makes the difference from good metalcore to great metalcore, if only they focused on getting a more varied sound.1 of 1 thought this review was well written
In a scene where good bands are a dime a dozen, it is always hard to find up and coming young starlets that can be described as the new leaders of a scene. Metalcore, one of the styles that's in these days, is an especially saturated overcrowded genre. With newer bands pouring in melodeath influences by the kilogramme, the modern-day musical descendents of In Flames have become so numerous picking one especially as the "true" heir of the throne is a nigh impossible task.
3 Mile Scream, a Canadian band that fits this mould, however, have gained critical praises for their debut album "A Prelude To Our Demise" from names such as Michael Amott (Arch Enemy), and Randy Blythe (Lamb of God). Hailed for putting the "M back in metal", and "artful brutality" amongst other things, the band is already being fawned over by some of the old dogs in the style to be quite the next best thing in melodic death metal/metalcore.
The funny thing is, that if the band worked on some key points, they definitely have the means and talent to go the whole hog. The band's main asset is their vocalist, Matt. This is actually also directly the thing that sets them apart from their peers: instead of using multiple vocalists, they have enlisted only one frontman, and he does every form of vocals, ranging from the melodic clean singing found in the style, to low bellowed grunts a la Mikael Stanne, to higher-pitched screams more found in modern metalcore. It's not just that he does all these vocals, and sucks at them though. He is actually able to hold a couple of notes, and the best thing is he can switch in a heartbeat: definitely the person for the band to build their strengths upon.
The rest of the band delves into more straightforward territory. The guitarists' riffs are melodic yet brutal, in the clichéd metalcore style, an unrelenting chugging backdrop for the vocals. It's typical of the genre they play, and they're definitely not bad at what they do, it's just not all too different from song to song. There are a couple of leads scattered around the album as well, but they are few, sparse and unmemorable, leading me to believe it's more the rhythm guitars that are the forte of this band.
The only annoying complaint I have musically is that the drummer is way too fond of machine-gun drums and breakdowns. On Dare To Question, it seems that almost every riff and breakdown is accompanied by a sample from Metallica's "One", drumwise. It gets pretty annoying to hear this every other song and while he definitely has speed in his double bass skills, he needs to introduce variety as the repetitiveness of the drumming starts to make the tracks become threateningly similar.
And that is actually the biggest thing the band can be faulted for right now. They have a great command of the style they play, and they pull every song off with aplomb in the studio as well as live. But the material is not varied enough to keep a listener enthralled for the duration of an album, and the band needs to pick up elements from other styles to make their formula work. It's going to make the difference between being a big fish in a small pond and an even bigger one in a bigger pond. If the band can concentrate on getting the most of their members to circle around their assets and introduce a couple new elements to their sound, they could have a winning formula on their hands. Now there's just the potential.