Review Summary: The Blackout Argument have a lot of potential but haven't fully recognized it yet. Remedies shows a lot of promise for the band in the future.
Germany's The Blackout Argument are one of the many new hardcore acts being spawned in the scene today. In their short career as a band, they have already released three EP's and a full-length and they have been building their reputation as one of the hardest working bands out there today. They recently faced the challenge of finding a new vocalist and singer Raphael Schmid stepped up to the mic in late 2007 and assumed the role greatly. After only 8 months since their last release, the band have returned with a new album and a new sound.
Remedies shows the band taking a more melodic approach while still retaining their heavy sound. The musicians in the band do a solid job of delivering intense hardcore songs with a melodic edge. Guitarists Chris Lochmann and Chris Zehetleitner are very consistent throughout the album as they provide some great riffs and hooks. That's one main redeeming quality about The Blackout Argument; they can write some catchy songs. One main one being "Dead But So Alive" which has a very addicting chorus.
Schmid has a somewhat diverse vocal delivery as he balances melodic singing with hardcore style yells and screams. His voice is somewhat comparable to Efrem Schultz of Death By Stereo only his heavier vocal style is a lot less powerful than Schultz's. However, he does have a good singing voice and uses it well on some tracks like, a showcase of it being "Vampire Searching for Some Light." Remedies contains a little too much filler for it to be considered a "great" album. Most of these filler songs rest in the middle of the album and are just not really interesting at all. The Blackout Argument are capable of writing some excellent songs but they don't always deliver them. Songs like "Kidnap Yourself" and "On The Top of the Beat" sound very plain and don't really do anything for the listener. However, Remedies does have it's shining moments. The aforementioned "Dead But So Alive" is very catchy and "Broken Teeth" gets the album started on a high note. Heavy hitters like "Treasure Chest, Confidential" also show the band in full force, if only the album was full of tracks like these.
Each of the members do a good job of holding up the fort. As mentioned earlier, the guitarists are very skilled and are the main cornerstone of the band's melodic hardcore sound. Drummer Phillip Seidl is also very prominent as his drumming is very consistent and doesn't miss a beat. Lyrically, Remedies album title speaks for itself as the lyrics focus on the hardships faced in life and ways to cure them.
Overall, Remedies is a decent sophomore album for The Blackout Argument. I wouldn't call it groundbreaking or revolutionary but it's an enjoyable listen and there's some outstanding moments on it. I feel that this band has a lot of potential and they fully recognized it on a few tracks on this album. They are a young band and are still learning, and may soon fully realize their potential and turn into a real force to be reckoned with. I'll definitely be looking forward for more releases from The Blackout Argument in the near future.
Favorite Tracks: Dead But So Alive, Broken Teeth, Treasure Chest Confidential, Kidnap Yourself
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