Aiden is a newer band on the music scene. Hailing from Seattle, Washington, they released a demo CD and a split CD in 2004. Victory Records, who could see their true talent as musicians, quickly picked up the band. They instantly began to work on their full-length debut "Nightmare Anatomy", which is the CD that is being reviewed here.
Vocals: The vocal duties are mainly handled by frontman Wil. He is a pretty good singer, and has decent screaming abilities too. More of the screaming is handled by guitarist Jake W. and bassist Nick. You can tell that they are much better screamers than Wil, though he holds his own on some songs (Knife Blood Nightmare, for example).
Guitars: There is no soloing with Aiden, who choose to lace speedy, melodic riffs over brutal rhythm. Jake W. and Angel are a good guitar duo for hardcore music. Definitely expect to see more from this duo in the future.
Bass: The bass holds a nice bottom to the band. Nick's bass can actually be heard throughout most of the album, sometimes almost even with the guitar, which I liked to hear. All of the basslines are perfectly accenting the guitars and drums, a good sign for the rhythm section of this band.
Drums: Jake D. has a great playing style in the fact that almost everything he plays is simple. The band doesn't need extremely flashy drum parts, because of how often the laced-over riffs occur. There are some occasional cool sounding fills, but mostly just basics that help the band sound better.
Ok, so now a track-by-track review of the CD...
1. KNIFE BLOOD NIGHTMARE (3:06) *5 out of 5*
The CD starts out with an awesome scream, breaking into Wil's angry-yet-melodic vocals. You can hear the guitar-work early on in the song, and continuing throughout. The bass adds so much more music-wise to this song because of the volume. Definitely an improvement over the original version of this song, and probably one of the better songs on this CD.
2. THE LAST SUNRISE (3:43) *5 out of 5*
The intro guitar to this song is great, and it shows what a talented guitar section there is here. It's not a bad song, especially the pre-chorus of "Sunrise, sunset, and you wash away the pain..." which will be stuck in your head, along with the chorus, after a couple listens. Extremely catchy song, with good musicianship, and it doesn't get old after multiple listens.
3. DIE ROMANTIC (3:40) *5 out of 5*
There are simpler up-front guitars in this song, but this song is also catchy. You notice there is a quieter guitar part in the background during the verses. Another extremely catchy chorus part. I like the drums on this song, especially the roll after the second chorus, and then the fill after that. Another great song.
4. GENETIC DESIGN FOR DYING (3:28) *4 out of 5*
The CD begins to get a little weaker here, but that doesn't at all mean that it gets bad. The verses on this song aren't as strong (vocally and musically) as the other songs, just kind of simple sounding filler verses. There is SO much put into Wil's singing in the chorus. There are also more simple guitars in the chorus. A very relaxed tempo compared to the three previous songs. Still a good song though.
5. BREATHLESS (3:58) *3 out of 5*
This song sounds kind of pop punkish at times. It starts off with a clean guitar intro with vocals. The guitars aren't bad at all. The vocals are poppy with a bit of a darker twist I guess. It's not amazing, but it's still not bad.
6. UNBREAKABLE (I.J.M.A.) (3:22) *4 out of 5*
Another slower introduction to the song, but this one breaks into a much faster song than previously. The chorus switches into a 6/8, and it sounds very good, especially the drums. In fact, the song overall is a pretty high point for the drums. Nothing all too impressive with the guitars, and the vocals are decent. The drums and bass make the song better than it would be with the normal simplicities of the two.
7. IT'S COLD TONIGHT (3:13) *4 out of 5*
Cool intro guitar, with verses that pull you in to the rest of the song. The chorus shows some pretty good vocals, with another one of those quieter guitar riffs in the background. Another song with a bass that is very easy to hear. The bridge part kind of goes off of the song a little bit, but it still sounds pretty cool, and transitions back in without fail.
8. ENJOY THE VIEW (2:45) *3 out of 5*
The verses on this song aren't the best. It seems like the drums are off a little bit, and the guitars have too much simplicity. The vocals don't seem to have as much. But when the song goes into a chorus-type part, everything gets a little faster and more upbeat. The vocals and guitar come more back into focus. The bridge has strong vocals and guitar as well, making for, with the exception of the verses, another decent song.
9. GOODBYE WE'RE FALLING FAST (3:34) *5 out of 5*
This is another song that Aiden re-did from an older EP, and it is a much-welcomed improvement. The intro is faster than before. The vocals are better, and the guitar parts seem tighter overall than before. The chorus has the mesmerizing lyrics of "Say goodbye, say goodbye, yeah we're falling fast" with goodbye screamed after each time it is sung. The bridge has very good screaming. Then, it falls into an acoustic breakdown, which bursts back into the song. Another amazing effort.
10. THE CITY IS FAR FROM HERE (3:07) *3 out of 5*
The introduction to this song is absolutely horrible. You can barely hear the vocals over the machine-type sounds. The industrialism isn't at all welcomed on the so far hardcore album. The song at best is okay. It's probably the worst song on the CD, but it's still listenable. Even in this song, the chorus isn't bad at all. But overall, it just doesn't compare to the rest of the CD.
11. SEE YOU IN HELL (6:13) *5 out of 5*
Starts off with a bit quieter calmer guitar riff than the opening song, but in a few seconds begins with a scream that is very comparable to that of "Knife Blood Nightmare". The verse on the song is catchy enough to bring you to the pre-chorus/chorus parts, which include the chants of "I WILL SEE YOU IN HELL". After the second chorus, it goes to Wil's melodic singing of "See you in hell now, see you in hell now." Later in the song, it also mentions the lyric "I set my friends on fire", which is a name of a song from a previous EP. The track ends, and then after about two minutes of silence, a clip the band made about nightmares comes on, and lasts about a minute, being the ending to this CD.
This debut from Aiden is not exactly a big surprise. The band had garnered so much attention from online play and the video that Victory had made for "Knife Blood Nightmare". The band already has a tour lined up with fellow Victory artists Hawthorne Heights and Silverstein. The band has great potential, and the future looks bright for them. Wil said "We are ready to let the world know we're here." Mission soon to be accomplished.
OVERALL: *4 out of 5*
"Knife Blood Nightmare"
"The Last Sunrise"
"Goodbye We're Falling Fast"
"See You In Hell"