Review Summary: Lively, generic metalcore that will satisfy the casual fan but fail to impress beyond that.
Sometimes, garnering success in the music scene is like trying to open a locked door. There are many paths to a solution, but all too often bands will approach the challenge with just one mindset: kick down the ***ing door
! That isn’t to say that particular method has never worked, because bands such as All That Remains and Killswitch Engage are generally well liked, aren’t they? But breaking down a door requires an extensive amount of strength and brute force, and not anyone
can do it. Enter EkoTren, the Flordia based metal group with high aspirations for their sophomore effort The Dead of Night
. EkoTren is hardly the first band to combine breakdowns, driving riffs, screaming, and machine gun style drumming to create an energetic sound. But instead of deviating from the staples of metalcore, they choose to continue straight ahead, full throttle. Kick down the door
! Exciting and energetic? Yes. Innovative? Certainly not.
If The Dead of Night
is anything, it is brimming with energy. EkoTren deserve props for displaying their passion in songs such as the roaring opener, “The End of the Day.” Despite a few overlookable Atreyu-reminiscent screams and Avenged Sevenfold style vocal inflections, it bears down on the listener with an incredible force that would slay crowds in a live setting. Full of heavy riffs and multiple breakdowns, the opener establishes a fun, furious pace that unfortunately is rarely matched elsewhere on the album.
Keep the change you filthy animal
A Home Alone
reference kicks off “Blackened Sky”, which due to its irrelevance to The Dead of Night
from both a musical and lyrical perspective, simply comes off as laughable…or, perhaps a reach at including a “badass” sound clip. Either way, the record is mostly disappointing henceforth, with EkoTren exerting a tremendous amount of force without really getting anywhere. Each song tends to follow the same, formulaic progression and there is not enough variation in the screams or clean vocals to qualify as different from the thousands of other metalcore acts out there. The vast middle portion of the album seems to get lost within itself, failing to offer distinguishable traits from one song to the next while the band members shred, scream, and pound away.
Up until the end, The Dead of Night
is a lot of unflattering things: unvaried, mediocre, cliché…but at no point does it sink to awful
. That is, until the title track/album closer “The Dead of Night”, which somehow manages to cram every hackneyed musical idea into one abhorrent song. From the overwrought emotional vocals to an uncharacteristically slow pace, “The Dead of Night” does everything that it can to ensure that the record ends on a tacky note. The album fades away into an embarrassingly forced chorus:
Way too long
Just to be forgotten
I’ve become the dead of night
EkoTren should not be completely discredited because of The Dead of Night
. They have the technical skill to succeed and they certainly know their audience; plus the passion and vigor that they inject into each song are certain to be entertaining live or in small doses through headphones. It is when one attempts to listen to the same rehashed ideas ten
times that their sound becomes wearisome. Unfortunately, EkoTren show us here that creativity is not their strong suit. Until they come up with a couple ideas of their own, they will never be more than an average metalcore band still banging its head against the door and expecting it to fall over.