Review Summary: An excellent August Burns Red ripoff.
A good buddy of mine (who has similar tastes in extreme music) recommended this album to me. So obviously, I checked it out, hence this review. And the first thing that came to mind was how close to August Burns Red this group sounds like. I'm not kidding. The guitar tone and vocals and drums and progressions and start-stop chug chug riffing are nearly EXACT. I can't stress that enough. In fact, if I had been presented with this album under the pretense that it was the new August Burns Red album, I would have believed it. But you know... they say copying is a form of flattery...
This is not a bad disc by any means. It's just that it so blatantly emulates ABR that I'm a bit torn. There are certainly parts that are better than anything ABR has done... but the rest is just kind of blah... if WtR had come out before ABR, they'd be all the rage... but they didn't (to my knowledge), so they're just rehashing a proven formula. And I hope they break away to their own style, or they will just get largely unnoticed.
The vocals are not terrible, but Tim Goergen is nothing special. He just belts it out and the music can hold its own regardless. He occasionally varies his vocals between a high scream and a midrange scream, but nothing that really makes your skin crawl... nothing he does makes you feel anything.
The drummer is tight. Seriously... dude is tight. And it's not that he's extremely creative... but he does what he does and he backs the band well, and even occasionally makes me tilt my head like wtf totally badass transition! He's technical, virtually flawless, and gets the job done... but that doesn't always make for a passionate percussionist.
The guitars are... well damn... these guys (Jay and Joe) seriously shred. There's no denying it. Their fretboard mastery is intense... but... I've heard it all before on every August Burns Red album. I'll admit... they occasionally slice off a piece of rifftastic grandeur... but it's usually short-lived and stuck between bits and chucks of metalcore palm-muting. The rare solo is not really worth writing about.
And my biggest beef... as it tends to be lately... is WHERE'S THE BASS??? Why do so many bands insist on burying the ONE thing that solidifies the rhythm section??? Have bands like this not figured out that metal of this sort is EXTREMELY rhythmic and needs that low-end to compliment the acrobatic drumming???
So... overall... disc is above average. It's something to slap on in the background when you're cleaning your house and drinking some brews. Some riffs will grab your attention... but mostly you'll just think to yourself... what an ABR ripoff... but a good ABR ripoff nonetheless. They have potential... they know how to play their instruments well... they just don't know how to sound like themselves yet.