Review Summary: Wrath and Rapture release their debut with incredible gusto. Almost too much gusto...
2 of 2 thought this review was well written
For a brief period in my few years of listening to metal, I became infatuated with the deathcore genre. I don't know what it was, either it was the "intense" vocals or "br00tal" breakdowns, but something drew me to the genre. It wasn't until I began listening to older death metal bands did I realize how much the genre sucked. But I still held out hope. Surely an entire sub genre wouldn't completely be a waste of musical talent, surely there would be some bands that tried to push the envelope.
Then I discovered Wrath and Rapture.
By the time I had discovered said band I was already listening to what I consider the "good" deathcore bands, i.e. Permillisecond, The Contortionist, From the Shallows. What I guess drew me into their sound was the synthesizer they use throughout their songs. It wasn't until I downloaded the album did something occured to me; what drew me into their sound is also what kept pushing me away.
To the actual band members themselves, each individual musician brings something to the table, but sometimes it's like one guy brought a nice broasted turkey and the other a pudding made of shit. In other words, it doesn't alwasy mesh. Sometimes the synth parts work, other times they contradict the sound of the guitars.
Here's the general setup for Wrath and Rapture's songs: Breakdown (which are decently implemented and don't just become chug fests,) synth solo, maybe a guitar solo, rinse and repeat. So basically the album becomes repetetive quickly before becoming interesting again, and the whole album goes through this setup, really making me question if it's a lack of foresight on part of the band or if they actually intended this.
The vocalist has a decent range in his vocals and manages to change dynamics where appropriate, but it's nothing we haven't heard before. The guitars boast chops, taking some influence from Between the Buried and Me and also incorporating some jazz elements into their sound. Speaking of jazz, this band flaunts that talent, almost too much sometimes. Some songs implement this asset well, and sometimes it doesn't. There is one point where it is intentionally dissonant, and for me it didn't catch on, but further listens makes me realize it generally works overall.
The main star of the show here is the synth, and this is where reviewing this band becomes complicated. Sometimes, the synth works absolutely magnficient with the guitars during solos. They even manageto enhance the otherwise would be stagnant breakdowns throughout the album. But what becomes a problem is when it's used TOO much. Sometimes the synth seems to take up too much of the breakdown or begins to pull a Kanye West on the guitar solos, taking up too much attention than it deserves.
Like I said, this band has a lot of good ideas and concepts to display here, but almost too much sometimes (there's that phrase again.) Come to think of it, that really does fit this band perfectly. Almost too much. The album is almost too much to handle with two interludes and a song in between these interludes that does nothing more but to extend the run time of the album. The synth is used almost too much, other times it blends perfectly. Sometimes the jazz elements work well, other times they're used almost too much. To be fair, the overall album isn't that bad. I found myself enjoying about 80% of this, but for some it could go up or down. The only way to tell if you can dig this or not is to listen to it for yourself.
good review, I'm between a 3.5-4 on this one. "So basically the album becomes repetetive quickly before becoming interesting again". Actually that's one thing I totally disagree with, the album is not repetitive at all, I don't understand where you get that from. I think that the record's biggest problem is the song writing and filler, which you didn't touch on enough, you touched on parts that were mostly positive and made them negative. It's filler that's the problem. And just so you know, one of the jazz interludes, the one in "Disembodiment", is actually in a contradicting key (to the metal half of the song) and does make sense musically, I'm a musician, I know. Because it was well written I would pos it, but because you don't point out the true negatives and make a few things up, I would neg it, so I won't pos or neg.
ah wait another hole: "The guitars boast chops, taking huge influences from BTBAM and also incorporating some jazz elements into their sound". Look, as the biggest fanboy of BTBAM (me) I must say that while they have some similarities to BTBAM, the jazz sound they incorporate is not just used by BTBAM, but MANY other prog metal bands. I see you have "Colors" at a 5 (me too) so you are probably thinking that they are sort os stealing from BTBAM's jazz sound, but are not really, because their sound is quite unique, and tons of other bands do it. In fact, even before BTBAM, tons of metal bands used jazz influence, maybe not to the extreme degree of "Colors" but BTBAM isn't the only one.
"The vocalist (who seriously looks and sound like he's trying really hard to emulate Tommy Rogers)"- it seems that you are comparing this band a lot to BTBAM, but just because they are complex structurally, does not mean that they are trying to BTBAM. BTBAM has never used power-metalesque synths, they don't use power metal dynamics, as this band does. This band differs a lot from BTBAM, though their are some similarities. And I don't see how the vocalist is trying to 'emulate' Tommy Rogers. They don't sound too much alike. This guy goes much deeper like a deathcore guy, Tommy is more about sustaining notes in a less deathcore way. If you fix this up I won't neg, but the fact that your BTBAM fanboyism is flamboyantly expressed throughout this review (and I promise I'm still a bigger BTBAM fanboy than you are), you need to remember that this band is not a rip off, they have their own sound that just needs a little refining. They may never make an album as phenomenal as "Colors", but they could have some great stuff in the future.
NeutralThunder12- You're right, I didn't go into enough detail about the filler. And the point about the contradicting sound you pointed out, I never said it was bad. I even acknowledged at some point that I couldn't tell if it was intentional. And I never said that BTBAM is the only prog band to use jazz, I was stating that WAR uses both BTBAM style riffs AND jazz elements. Also, I found parts of the album repetetive and others interesting, but that's more of an opinion.