Review Summary: A debut that is safe and simple.
Most of the time, I find myself as a very forgiving person when it comes to music. A great percentage of the music that I listen to can be claimed as just average, I find a way to look past the flaws and enjoy what I listen to. I’m starting to notice more now that as bands become more and more dull and boring, I’m beginning to become more of a harsh critic, which is usually expected when I have a hard time listening to an album straight through. One of the biggest genres that I find myself being harsh about is the metal core genre, which has it’s veterans and it’s attempts, and Sea of Treachery are just another one of those attempts.
“At Daggers Drawn” is an album that I wanted to enjoy, especially after hearing that the band was putting out a new album, I figured I’d go back to the beginning and see how things were compared to how things are going to be. One of the things I noticed instantly was the similarity in the bands sound to a huge percentage of other bands in the genre. Even after just a few songs, I found myself not even able to tell them apart from bigger bands that rank themselves as metal core, and this is a problem. When I hear a song or a band, I want to be able to hear something that pushes them away from those other bands, something that makes them stand apart from the crowd. Moments of originality on the album are rare, and when you find that one little rare moment it’s worth the wait.
Another thing that I noticed very quickly was that it seemed the band was taking it safe, keeping the riffs simple, the breakdowns heavy and the sound fast. This isn’t a major problem, but it contributes to their lack or originality heavily. If they could’ve went and created bigger listen worthy moments than this would be an entire different album. Everything is kept simple for the most parts, some of the sung choruses are a tad bit catchy, but remain uninteresting most of the time. Lead screaming vocalist Alex Huffman is certainly in need of some work, his highs are nothing more than average and his lows are nothing to get to excited about either. A little more practice in perfecting those screams and he has the ability to be a great vocalist, but for now it’s rough.
Singing vocalist and guitarist Jonas Ladekjaer does a nice job on the majority of his singing sections, and while nothing really gives him the ability to showcase his talent to the max, he is one of the strongest elements on the album. I know that the bands main sound is to remain heavy, but it wouldn’t have hurt them to use Jonas a little more, come up with some more melodic singing sections to get his voice a tad bit more involved. As I stated before, the album features some good moments, and though they are rare they are usually noticeable. A few of the songs contain some catchy guitar lines, ‘Raise the Banner’ opens with a nice little guitar moment but never really follows through. Yet again, the band could have done so much more with their sound if they would just branch out of that safe zone.
The album is full of breakdowns, with each song containing two or three at the least, it’s hard to find one that really is impressive. Though there are one or two that have the ability to get your head bobbing a bit to the sound, they really do nothing to enhance the heaviness of the album. “At Daggers Drawn” is a safe album, it features simple moments that never really add up to anything interesting. I had a hard time getting through the album when it came around to my third and fourth listen, and in the future I may only find myself listening to one or two songs occasionally from the album.