Review Summary: Well I guess the guitars are alright.
I Killed The Prom Queen stood as an Australian metalcore band from the the year 2000 until 2007, ending entirely with a goodbye tour in 2008. Expect no returns, according to the band 'Goodbye means forever'. They only had a few releases, this album being their debut album, due to that fact, it is not their most well-produced album (See 'Music For The Recently Deceased' to understand the difference). The recording seems raw and rather under-done most of the time. Some of the tracks do stand out as being produced and mixed rather well, take Forgiveness Is Murder
for example, as the guitars often seem over-distorted to levels in which that it becomes less enjoyable and more annoying.
The drums do not come on strong enough to back up the guitars - Which seem to be the best display here - and the singing is average while the screams seem to drone on and show nothing spectacular. The addition of acoustic guitars here and there give the album something extra but I'm afraid to say that it doesn't quite make up for the lack of creativity I'm hearing. Sometimes the band show some of their potential with songs like Death Certificate For A Beauty Queen
and Forgiveness is Murder
, but disregarding how much I like them two songs, it's still dragged down by the generic screams and the lack of an appealing song structure.
As I said, the guitars are the real heroes on this records. Perhaps they are what saves the album from being a total failure. Guitarists Jona Weinhofen and Kevin Cameron worked together as pair to write creative riffs and powerful chord structures in their attempt to show the rest of the band just how it's done. Although a good attempt, the rest of the band probably didn't listen to them too much as the rest of the musical arrangement falls apart in the background of the guitars. Highlights of the guitar work can be found in Upon A Rivers Sky
where the structure of the song is pretty good and the guitars are in their height of their creativity by inducing a well worked breakdown towards the end of the song.
The bass seems pretty much non-existent on this album, probably because of a previous point I have made - The guitars are way too distorted. The drums seem to be on key but they don't stand out enough to seem good compared to the guitar work. They seem barely average for a good Metalcore album so compared to slightly above average guitar work it doesn't seem come out all that well for I Killed The Prom Queen.
The vocals are a real let down here. The screaming - which takes up the majority of the vocal section - are often under-par and seem way too generic and boring to stand out here. They never seem to take on a different pitch and appear to remain the same throughout the album. When Michael Crafter actually sings, it does sound quite impressive. Although his shouted/spoken vocals seem half-hearted most of the time and don't carry as much as emotion as they are clearly meant to.
The album in itself is a mediocre attempt at making an impact on the metalcore genre. In my opinion, aside from one or two songs, nothing really stands out on this record. It's a good job that the band seemed to do much better on their later albums, otherwise they wouldn't be worth a fraction of their given hype. The band had a lot of potential, but it's a shame they couldn't put it to use on this album, I feel they could have done so much more with this than what they actually did.
Overall rating: 2/5
Death Certificate For A Beauty Queen
Upon A Rivers Sky