Review Summary: New wave of Finnish melodic death metal with more clean vocals, than usual, aggressive drumming and heavy riffs
Naildown on Dreamcrusher:
Daniel Freyberg (vocals, guitar)
Matti Hämäläinen (bass)
Asko Sartanen (guitar)
Janne Jukarainen (drums) -left the band in 2008
Naildown is a Finnish melodic death metal band, formed in 2003, and represents the so called new wave of melodic death metal with more clean vocals and aggressive riffs. This can be noted right in the first track of the album, titled "Dreamcrusher", that kicks in with a very aggressive mentality, but has a very melodic chorus and more melodic riffs in its second half, with a little complementing solo thrown in for good measure. The song marks a good start to the album, but doesn't give a full impression of the whole record, seeing as there are no songs that sound exactly alike here. For example, already the second song, called "Judgement Ride", starts off differently. It also has a very aggressive start, especially the drumming, but a lot more synth is used and it goes quickly into the main part, which is very distinguishable in this song, consisting of clean vocals and medium-paced drumming and riffing. And so on the songs variate.
This album contains only nine songs, but all cuts are of quality. All the songs are different from each other and don't blend into one another, so you won't get bored while listening to the record from head to tail. A make or break point of this album is the vocal performance by frontman Daniel Feyberg. His vox are melodic and he is, in my opinion, a rather promising heavy metal vocalist. Yet, the vocals are one of the main reasons I gave this album a 4, not higher. The melodic singing is very good, but the screams - they just don`t do the job in my opinion. They are kind of weak and colourless and don't really measure up to the other melodic death metal bands such as Diablo, Amorphis or Dark Tranquillity. So this is the main reason that some may not like this album that much.
I am still being positive about the album though. The band members are still very young and have a lot of time to grow and expand musically. They certainly have the potential for it. The drummer is already quite great and the drums are one of the best parts on the album. The drumming is very aggressive and in-your-face and the drums are nicely heard on all of the tracks. High points of the drumming are probably tracks "Dreamcrusher" and "P.I.B", where, in addition, the bass is also heard well and really gives the songs a strong fundamental basis. Bass is hard and low tuned in all of the tracks and is heard rather well throughout the album. It really creates the whole atmosphere and mood for the songs and in this bands case gives them a dark undercurrent.
Now to the riffs. They aren't very complex but nevertheless do the job quite nicely. Some of the riffs have a somewhat similar sound but since they don't blend into one another too much, that facet isn't disturbing. The best example of good riffing found on this album is the track "The New Wave". The only negative thing about the riffs is that for some listeners they might grow old after many spins, but even if that happens, it will take time. There are some nice solo sections in every song that don't last too long and therefore do not become boring and are very enjoyable to listen to. Solos give the songs a nice twist, since they come in quite unexpectedly, and keep the song exciting and unpredictable.
If I'd have to pick one or two standout songs from the album, then they would probably be "Dreamcrusher" and "Lame". They show the originality of this band the most. Also a very great track is the instrumental "Deep Under The Stones". It may not be the most complicated instrumental track I have ever heard, but definitely has some nice hooks and tricks in it and is a truly wonderful piece of listening.
Overall this album is definitely worth checking out for someone who already likes death metal (although this is melodic) and is a great starting point for someone who is planning to take his first look into the genre.