Review Summary: Johnny Truant may no longer be with us, this album serves as a reminder of just how good the band truly was.3 of 4 thought this review was well written
The variation among regional music scenes is rather interesting, bands like Architects and Bring Me the Horizon share similarities with their counterparts from around the world, but they also seem to be separated by more than just large amounts of earth and water. In that regard Johnny Truant is a prime example of the difference between UK Metalcore and that of the rest of the world.
In a way, Johnny Truant serve as bridge between the gap of the more melodic, breakdown centric Metalcore acts like I Killed The Prom Queen and the more interesting, technical bands like Botch. But unlike a lot of other melodic Metalcore bands, JT never really fall into the realms of generic song writing. Part of this is undoubtedly due to the level of technical skill the band possesses, but being technical doesn’t instantly make a band good, rather it’s how the band utilizes flourishes of technical musicianship in conjunction with more simplistic ideas that makes their music stand out.
Throughout the album the guitarists constantly shift between thick, meaty riffs of various degrees of complexity and more various melodic riffs and leads that not only serve to complement the simpler aspects of the album but often fuse the two ideas. On top of this the band manages to avoid becoming monotonous by shifting between an array of time signatures in a smooth manner.
Besides offering up a nice plate of riffs, In the Library of Horrific Events features some rather powerful vocals, courtesy of Olly Mitchell. Mitchell has a relatively solid range with a high-ish scream and a growl that encompasses his mid and low range, occasionally he throws out a half-spoken, half-sung “clean” style that isn’t anywhere near as polished as your average Metalcore vocalist. Olly’s only area of fault is his high scream sounding a tad thin at times, granted it isn’t enough to take much away from the vocal performance.
In terms of percussion the album is relatively solid, with a number of enjoyable drum patterns throughout the album. Unfortunately the drums will occasionally stick just a little too close to the guitars when they could be standing out or at least adding another layer of depth to the sound, that being said the drum work is still good enough for the album and whilst it may not add a lot it certainly doesn’t detract from it either.
Another area Johnny Truant show some promise is their ability to incorporate atmosphere into their sound. Whilst they don’t reach the level of atmospheric content a band like Hopesfall achieved, the band do demonstrate the ability to loosen up on the heavy assault by adding the occasional ambient interlude between tracks, greatly expanding the overall feel of the album. This not only gives the listener some breathing room but accentuates just breaks up any feelings of monotony one might’ve felt had the album been composed entirely on non-stop heaviness.
In The Library Of Horrific Events, is a prime example of good Metalcore, (a concept often thought fictional due to the dominance of the genre by terrible bands)more to the point it’s an example of how more typical riff-centric Metalcore can actually be made in a way that doesn’t insult the listener’s intelligence. Johnny Truant may no longer be with us, this album serves as a reminder of just how good the band truly was.