Review Summary: Cookie cutter metalcore that is oh so sweet
Metalcore bands are a dime a dozen in today’s metal scene. Often seen as the ugly duckling among metalheads, and with good reason, this genre seems to spawn countless bands that use the same, tired, tedious formula again and again. Every once in a while though, a band comes through that juts the curve just a bit, and manages to stand out of the crowd. One of these bands is Underneath the Gun.
Hailing from the metalcore state of California, Underneath the Gun unleashes their form of metal on Forfeit Misfortunes
. Generally sticking to the usual breakdown happy style, with some guitar leads thrown in, Underneath the Gun still manages to create a album worthy of an in depth listen. From the opening riffs in Cutting Ties, Breathing Lies, they send the listener on a chaotic spiral filled with catchy riffs, crushing breakdowns, and a variety of vocals styles. The album is chock full of relentless songs like Looking Deep in Shallow Water and Rising Words that keep the pace up tempo, and it doesn’t let up except for the 1 minute and 28 second instrumental Crescendo.
Musically this band is not overly talented, but is not mediocre at their respective instruments. The guitarists palm mute away, occasionally stopping to throw in a melodic lick or two such as the extremely catchy lead line at the 1:05 mark in Reflection of the Commonwealth. There are a high amount of breakdowns in Forfeit Misfortunes
, and although this may turn some listeners away, they do not distract from the feel of the album. The drumming on this album is your atypical metalcore drumming, laying down a nice beat and rhythm, but not going above and beyond that. It helps lay the groundwork for the guitars, and this alone is enough. The bass is as always inaudible, but I will assume it, like the drums, provides backing to the guitars. The vocals are to my ears, a highlight of this album. With a range from a low growl to a high shriek and in-between, Underneath the Gun’s vocalist gives the listener a good variety, and while his vocals may get strained at some points, overall they are one of the better ones in the metalcore scene today.
is not a perfect record though, not by any means. Repetition is a problem on this album. Songs seem to blend in with each other, and only the occasional melodic lead or interesting vocal line really seems to separate them. The chug-a-chug of the guitars may also drive away listeners. It is not a terrible detractor from the album, but this could have benefited from a little less input from the chugga train.
In the end it really comes down to what you are looking for. If you are looking for a original, groundbreaking metalcore album, this is not the place to be, but if you are looking for a interesting, heavy record to pique your interest, then Forfeit Misfortune
may be an album to pick up.