Review Summary: Appearances can be deceiving.
Droid are one of those bands that came along a while before they did anything memorable. The history of the band could go as far back as 1997 when its first core components started forming. Surprisingly enough, all five original members of the band met Korn
and were invited to tour with them as support on the nu-metal rockers' Family Values Tour. Clearly having some sort of talent, the band started to make an impact after they played more and more shows in support of Korn
and James “Munky” Shaffer signed them to his record label Emotional Syphon Recordings. The band then released a demo called Swallow the Cure while on tour in 2006 (most of the songs on it would be re-recorded for the debut album). Soon after, Droid began work on their self-titled debut album.
Like a lot of bands, Droid infuse several different aspects into their sound. They play a mixture of groove metal, metalcore, and a hint of hardcore. Vocalist James Eason shouts and screams his way through the album with precision and force, sounding like Jamie Jasta of Hatebreed but not as boring and predictable. He can bring his scream into higher registers to change things up from the deep growl he uses throughout the better half of the album. Meshuggah
are also an influence here – Guitarists Bruce Childress and Jamie Teissere dominate the record with their massive machine-sounding guitar tone. Even though the riffs are huge and massively heavy, they incorporate melodic passages and clean riffs every now and then, so the listener is not bombarded by just huge monotonous riffs for the entire 45 minutes. Tracks like God of Anger build up and then explode with fury and relentless aggression, presenting a perfect example of how the guitar sets the perfect soundscape for the band to lash out on.
The production is also an important factor here. For a debut album, the production is fantastic, bringing out the aggression in every song and capturing how energetic the band is. The bass is extremely low in the mix, but it would be hard for it to have any real place besides backing up the gigantic riffs that flow throughout the album. The drums keep everything going and keep the songs on a pace, but the guitars and vocals are the strong points for the band while the rhythm section takes a back seat on the album. Lead single Fueled By Hate is perhaps a perfect example of what the band is about, presenting strong points for every aspect of the band and featuring a start-stop section in the middle of the song that is just crushing. Although Droid don't reinvent the wheel by any means, they execute their formula so well that the entire album is enjoyable.
One of the most interesting parts of the album arrives in its later half, with the track Vengeance is Mine. On it, Deftones
vocalist Chino Moreno lends his vocal contributions to the song, which turns out to be one of the best songs Chino has ever worked with another band on. All of the aforementioned aspects of Droid's sound are present as Chino and Eason exchange screams and shouts that turn the track into a boiling 4 minutes of insanity. We all have come to know and love Chino's signature screams that he always uses at the perfect times on Deftones' albums, and he uses them perfectly on this track, making it an instant highlight and one of the best songs Droid has ever done. Despite the fact that this is a fun album though, most of the songs do sound the same, and it does start to wear off after a while once the better half of the album is over. Maybe next time the band will try to mix things up a bit rather than keep things the same for 12 tracks.
Out of a lot of bands that come and go, Droid made their mark in metal with their debut album. Although bringing nothing new to the table, they succeeded in blending different sounds to create a memorable and extremely heavy debut that refuses to let up until its over. The album may sound too monotonous and boring in some points, but the good tracks here absolutely rule and show much potential. As of now, the band is without a vocalist and bassist and their future seems bleak, but if they ever do pull it together their sophomore effort could be very interesting indeed.