Review Summary: For now, I Am Abomination will have to just be satisfied being ear candy.
Cotton candy is loved by many, loathed by few. The substance’s fluffy composition, pastel color, and overwhelmingly sweet taste keeps paying customers coming back for more, making its confectionery allure overpowering to even the strictest of consumers. Nevertheless, too much of a good thing always yields the potential to bear bad things. After listening to I Am Abomination’s sugary debut album To Our Forefathers, I feel as if I just devoured a heaping cloud of cotton candy – my sugar tooth is overjoyed but my appetite for substance remains unsatisfied.
After providing such a tasty introduction, I feel compelled to describe what makes I Am Abomination’s music so enticing. First, look no further than the incredibly poppy vocals of lead singer Phil Druyor. Sharing a similarity to Patrick Stump of Fall Out Boy, Druyor’s crooning, whilst paired with his 1984-esque lyrics, is the most immediate element of what makes I Am Abomination so appealing. As evidenced in “The Deceiver,” Phil’s exceptional tenor floats above the chaos below, smoothing the edges of his band’s backing assault, while drenching the song with syrupy melodies. Throughout the remainder of To Our Forefathers, aside from “Rock N’ No Soul,” which finds Phil giving way to the fierce scream of Dave Stephens of We Came As Romans, Druyor keeps his performance consistent, belting out note after tuneful note.
Not to be outdone by Druyor, guitarists Shawn Reed and Zach Felps assist in forming I Am Abomination’s delicious product. Throughout the album, Reed and Felps churn out down tuned riffs and flamboyant leads while keeping their delivery in a relatively post-hardcore realm. One listen to album closer “Element 101” is all one needs to marvel at the monstrous, disjointed riffs both axe-wielders are capable of showcasing. On the other hand, if brief sessions of fret board dances are desired, Reed and Felps put on a wonderful clinic in sections of “Cataclysm.” Simply put, these two shredders serve as the yin to Druyor’s yang, providing a sticky base of chaotic dissonance underneath his luscious delivery.
Acting as the airy element of I Am Abomination’s musical treat, the synthesizers utilized throughout the album help supplement the band’s arrangements, puffing their sound to more ethereal heights. A fitting sample of synthesized goodness can be found throughout the track “Thoughtcrime is Death.” Here the keys do an effective job of making the conclusion of the piece more expansive than if presented with their absence. Gimmicky or not, the synthesizers included in I Am Abomination’s sound are tastefully done, serving to nuance the skeleton of a song, still being careful enough to not detract from the band’s sonic intent.
As previously stated, I Am Abomination has crafted an absurdly pleasing album. From the appealing voice of lead singer Phil Druyor, the swift riffs of guitarists Shawn Reed and Zach Felps, to the floating, airy beauty of the synthesizers that surround I Am Abomination’s music, To Our Forefathers is the audio equivalent of a massive heap of cotton candy. Yet, like the puffy delight’s inability to truly satisfy, I Am Abomination’s relatively shallow compositions prevent To Our Forefathers from joining the meat and potato releases of the music industry. For now, I Am Abomination will have to just be satisfied being ear candy.