Review Summary: Across Five Aprils delivers a solid, fun, and non-generic CD. Tasteful metalcore with a signature dirty tone.
Across Five Aprils Is:
Brandon Mullins - vocals
Steve Wooteon - drums
Josh Dycus - Bass
Zak Towe - Guitar
Adam Nordmeyer - Guitar
I always find it interesting when a band adopts a new sound. Fans get to find out if they loved the band or the genre. Across Five Aprils
used to be the whole screamed verses, catchy sung choruses cookie-cutter band. They explored a darker side of pop-punk, and unfortunately never captured a remarkable sound. Usually, I overlook bands like that, but something in them showed promise, so I checked back several times for an update or new album. With Life Underwater
, lo and behold, the kids delivered.
There are a few things that jump to mind when you listen to this CD. Two things are the vocals, and the mixing. On their previous album, (The first one their current singer debuted on) their singer had two speeds. Sung and screamed. On this album, you'll find the vocalist has a very signature and distinguishable style. He switches between all pitches of yelling, screaming, and singing. I find it a definite plus that he isn't the typical metalcore singer you'd expect. The other thing would be the overall tone of the album, production-wise. It sounds dirty and vaguely southern. At first, this was a downside to me, but after listening to the album more, I realized just how much of a plus it is to have such a stand-out sound.
The guitarists also have a signature style. Straying from the typical "Palm mute this **** to death", they use an interesting style of mixing distorted chord picking and other deeper chord progressions to make a very full sounding texture to their songs. On their previous releases, their drummer played the typical pop-punk routine, plus a few little metalcore diddles. On this album, the band drastically changed their sound, so the drummer had an opportunity to up the ante and bring his playing to a new level. Unfortunately, he never did, so drums remain on this album just a means to hold the rhythm. Bass is usually undetectable, and blends into the guitar lines, adding to their full sound.
The lyrics on this album are one of the upsides. They fit the music well, and have actual meaning. Some parts of the songs (see In Photographs) are quite catchy, a memoir from their pop-punk days.
I read your mind 1000 times.
Long tales of things that bump in the night.
Rusted holes in the walls, we paint black everything.
Day dreamer, deceiver, lay waste the true believer.
There is no truth. There is no rhyme.
This **** will happen every time.
Rusted holes in the walls, we paint black everything
Some of these songs stick to a harsher sound (The Darkest Road), while some are just catchy rock out songs (In Photographs), but overall, Across Five Aprils make a great final release. They broke up shorty after this albums release, which is disappointing, considering this album shows great promise. The CD has a good replay value, and while it won't blow you away, it's an appreciated stand out work in a sea of sickening deja vu inducing bands.