Review Summary: Quality alternative metal spiced up with hard rock
Vayden are a relatively new force in the "soft" metal scene. These guys started out in 2002, released their self-titled debut in 2004, and after a name change (previously titled "Simplify"), released their sophomore album Children of our Mistakes
. The album itself is far from inventive, shocking or even new-sounding but it does make for a good listen, and I'll get to why right away.
The style that Vayden plays is a cross between mainstream hard rock and alternative metal. They are a little bit similar to their American counterparts Avenged Sevenfold in that domain, as Vayden, on Children of our Mistakes
, maneuvers between the more raw sounding alternative metal genre and poppier hard rock style through the duration of this album. Thankfully they do it effortlessly and come away with it. This will also be the last time I'll mention Avenged Sevenfold in this review as the only thing similar between these two bands is the stylistic feel, other than that, the music itself sounds completely different.
While Children of our Mistakes
is in general a very solid album throughout, it must be noted that the first half of the album is stronger than the second. That's not to say the other half is bad, but Vayden seem to fall into the casual trap bands within this style stumble into - they go overly into soft rock land, losing some of the initial punch and causing a handful of songs near the end blend overly together. Vayden is at their best when they experiment a little though. Between the grittier rockers and softer, radio friendly songs, there are two tracks where the guys decided to experiment a little, and by occasion, these tracks are the standouts.
After the diverse, solid rocker "Children of our Mistakes" we are greeted with "Uniforms", first of the two tracks the band decided to experiment a little on. The verses of it acquire influences from the British alternative scene and the overall quirky feel pays off, making it a sure standout. The chorus blends into the verses very well, and featuring a thicker, heavier riff, it adds another dimension to the song. Second standout is "Elysium". On that track, after a relatively quiet and atmospheric verse, the band really tries their hand at a truly fist-pumping and anabatic chorus. While the choruses are rather catchy, memorable and distinguishable throughout the whole album, "Elysium" has the best one: I'm feeling more then human, I feel Unstoppable, I think I might be the cure/ But you say they're just illusions, Anything's possible, Elysium has a door
. While not containing lyrical genius, the chorus is definitely fist-pumping and makes you feel all tough and strong for a second there.
All the other tracks are solid too, though. There aren't any real letdown songs, although the second half of the disc does conflate a little. Track after track of solid rock anthems go by and the album finally (albeit rather quickly) finds its end with the acoustic and emotional "Zoe's Song". So what does the listener gather from this album? Well the musicianship is on the ball, the rockers rock like they have to, and the radio friendlier, softer songs have just the right amount of guitars to them, yet still remaining very accessible. By the end of the album, it becomes clear that the main attraction of Vayden is the vocalist, Curtis Casey. His vocals are a little boy-like and his unique, cracking voice is a fine draw-in. He can comprehend both aggressive and softer song, and do so in a style. He also has a decent range, although he is best doing his mid-range, tight (at times even soaring) vocals.
Overall, Vayden's Children of our Mistakes
is a good hard rock/alternative metal album. It is nothing spectacular, or anything really new, but Vayden almost take the maximum out of the style they are currently playing. With some more experience these guys can hit it big and create a superb-quality rock album, but as for now, Children of our Mistakes
is a more than satisfactory release by the band.
: This review is written for the 2008 re-recording where the band has remastered all the songs in order to achieve maximum quality production. The original version of this album dates back to 2006.