Review Summary: An album that had the tools to be a successful modern metal in its time, but never got its chance.
Sixstitch was a modern metal band from the desolate Arizona desert. Fusing the elements of break beat electronics with hard hitting rock / hardcore music, Sixstitch managed to create a sound that is their very own. Musically they were like a mix of The Prodigy and a modern metal band. Sixstitch could be described as the younger brother of modern metal acts like Lamb Of God or Chimaira, the only exception being that they use a sufficient amount of electronics and are not as heavy.
The Collapse of American Dreams
) is an album filled with metal riffage and break beat electronics, which are spiced by the powerful vocals of singer Momo. The usage of dual guitars on this album has really paid off. The guitarists collaborate very well with the electronics and create a neat motley sound; they never stop picking or sliding the guitar strings during a song and so manage to create a continuous vacuum of music. Only thing that the guitars may be lacking a bit is aggressiveness. While thick and heavy, the guitar work could be a bit more in your face, because the vocals and programming effects are very fierce and sometimes it seems that the guitar production could've had more punch to it. But I guess that's what Sixstitch tried to do on this album: use two guitarists to make the overall sound thicker and more fit, but in the same time controlling the guitars from becoming overly protruding.
The albums starts with an intro titled "6th And Catatonia". It's actually a rather poor start to the album, since it only features some ineffective spoken-word bits, which are heavily distorted with electronic effects. After that, though, the album blasts off with the song "New World Disorder". Featuring a heavy dose of electronics, some good bass picking, aggressive drumming and very decent vocals from Momo, this track gives a pretty good general idea of what we can expect from TCOAD
: with a catchy chorus and a great tempo, it sets the pace for the rest of the album nicely. The following track is titled "The Collapse Of American Dreams" and it's one of the definite standouts of this album. Again featuring some neat bass picking, intense vocals, catchy and aggressive chorus, and some good programming, this song represents the band's sound near perfectly. Intense, aggressive, influenced by electronics yet catchy is what Sixstitch is.
The other two standout tracks that this album has are titled "Switchblade Barbie" and "The Curse". "Switchblade Barbie" features a mad tempo and the screaming by Momo is near perfect. Electronic effects on it are well executed, as always on this album, and work to give the song a sense of melody."The Curse" on the other hand is the album's curveball, showing Sixstitch at its most emotional and, consequently, its best. The guitar sound on that song is more protruding and the synth parts manage to catapult the chorus to insane heights. Momo's clean vocals are also very effective on "The Curse", which is a little surprising considering he's more adept at screaming.
This album does contain some flaws as well. Because of the style that Sixstitch plays, it is inevitable that some of the songs sound somewhat samey and blend into each-other a bit. Thankfully most of the tracks have enough charisma to them. The only one that stands out as a noticeably weaker cut is "House Of Decay", as it lacks personality and is easily forgettable, which is a shame because it just so happens to be the closing track. If Sixstitch would have cut the last two songs, titled "House Of Decay" and "Summer Of Mars" (an interlude), then this album would have been even better. If they had done that, then TCOAD
would have ended with the brilliant "The Curse", and would have left the listener begging for more. Instead the album concludes with filler.
All in all though, this album is a real treat. While not ostensibly heavy, it is an aggressive record full of feelings, anger and good musicianship. TCOAD
was, technically, absolutely capable of being a hit modern metal release circa 2006, so it's a tad sad that it never had the chance to live up to its full potential, since Sixstitch was a very unknown band outside of the Southwest of USA, where they had their audience. That doesn't take away from the quality of the album, though, and if anyone is looking for some fresh modern metal, Sixstitch's The Collapse of American Dreams
is definitely an option.