Review Summary: One of the best Ideas Tooth & Nail records has ever made was getting Trevor and Ryan to guest star on this record.
Tooth & Nail records is a pretty small name record company that is usually a stepping stone for Canadian Christian rock bands to get noticed. Bands like Thousand Foot Krutch, Demon Hunter, Underoath, Anberlin, and Hawk Nelson are the biggest names to come out the company, and I believe they've all left for bigger companies (or independent projects). Nine Lashes is a band still in the process of being built up by the record company, and the company has done Nine Lashes a monumental favor by providing them bigger names to feature in their 2nd album (first with Tooth & Nail). Trevor McNevan from Thousand Foot Krutch and Ryan Clark from Demon Hunter both do their parts to add a different feel (Trevor's raps and Ryan's screams/growls), which brings up this otherwise dull record. Nine Lashes first record went basically unknown and the only reason I found them was because of the guests featured on the record. That's how great advertisement should be.
Now, to the music. "Adrenaline" is the easy fan favorite with a fantastic feature in Trevor. The verses feature a more interesting guitar part than expected mixed with Jeremy Dunn doing a fantastic job matching the energy the guitars bring with his best vocal performance on the record. The pre-chorus introduces Trevor as he comes in with a rap that blows away every rap he's done since TFK's debut (which focused much more on the rap element) and introduces a brilliant chorus where Jeremy sings long, held out notes and Trevor raps over him. Easily the high point of the band's career and it will be difficult to top. "Anthem of the Lonely" is the other big-seller on this album. The synthesized beat at the beginning is a great intro, which open into guitars that quickly transition into straight riffs for the verses. The vocals pick up in the pre-chorus for my favorite moment of the song. The chorus features less emotion vocals in comparison to the pre-chorus and features some chants from the other members. Good anthem song, just not as good as the hype it gets. "The Intervention" was the surprise on the album for me. I enjoy the piano part in the intro a lot. Reminds me of the many similar intros in the Dawn Escapes album from Falling Up. The guitars kick in on the verses and the vocals mix in well. The drums are also a standout with creative beats and cutouts. The chorus is better than "Anthem" but the entire song doesn't out-perform it.
"Our Darkest Day" is the song featuring Ryan Clark, who does less for the song than Trevor in "Adrenaline". He does background vocals during the chorus like he did in the song "Let You In" by Kutless. He does dominate the bridge though, but it sounds awkward with the lack of heaviness. The rest of the song isn't as good instrumentally as the rest of the album, even with the heavier sound guitars at the beginning, but those are ditched quickly. The chorus is kind of lackluster as well. "Get Back" would be better if they cut out the "Oh oh oh oh, oh oh oh oh's" before the verses. He doesn't do a bad job with performing them, but they just kill the song for me. The chorus isn't bad, but far from original. "Write It Down" has another great-synthesized intro with a catchy lead guitar part. The riffs in the chorus match the drums well and the drum part is an easy favorite of mine from the album. The chorus picks up-tempo with more of a pop/rock feel. The chorus is nice, but the second chorus specifically is the best. It features some great guitar additions and cutouts to catch attention. The whispering bridge is nice as well. "The Void" is probably a filler track, but not one of the worst on the record. The verses have a ballad feel with simple instrumentals, then the chorus kicks up a little more than expected, but is not as well thought out as all the other songs mentioned.
Lastly, we have "Afterglow", "Believe Your Eyes", "Memo", and "My Friend". "Afterglow is a stupidly titled song that tries to hard to be original. It ends up as a generic ballad, even though the chorus isn't bad and makes up for the otherwise boring feel of the rest of the song. It's not the most original, but the piano in the chorus is a nice touch. "Memo" is a similar ballad with the same setup (boring verses, simple instrumentals, and a decent, unoriginal chorus). "Believe Your Eyes" is an obvious filler track where the chorus holds notes out to long and kills the feel of the song. "My Friend"is a little more interesting with acoustic guitars, but ends up boring me quickly. The chorus is simple, but doesn't grasp me like it should. It aims for a tear-jerking topic that doesn't touch my soul as intended; without any emotional connection, I lose interest quickly.
The debut album (with Tooth & Nail records) isn't anything we haven't heard before, but some brilliant guest appearance add extra hype and sound to the album, which makes this a worthy listen, but not Earth-shattering.
Last repost. I purposely talked a lot about the featured artists and record company, since Tooth and Nail records advertise this album as a Demon Hunter/TFK album featuring Nine Lashes instead of the other way around. They really did make this album though. Whatever, leave feedback please.
This is just a heads up man,
but you could catch some shit for posting too many reviews at once. I mean your free to what you want, but staff members could get upset with you and people may even neg you just for posting too many... regardless of whether theyre well written or not.
I've not trying to tell you what to do, it's a just a suggestion but i dont want you getting picked on or negged for it. but ive seen this happen.
Thanks, your reviews are really good as well, any tips to improve? (just to point out again, this isn't my newest one technically. My Jars of Clay one is the last one I wrote, so that is my best reviewing.)
your reviews are real nice. You definitely have a passion for the music, it's easy to see that in your writing. the only advice i can
give you is to just listen to the music, let the sounds speak to you, and ideas will flow through your head.
also, don't listen to the people who insult you. This is a great website, but there are some immature people who just like to troll
and mess around. so just keep at it, you'll do fine here.
Thanks, just curious how I wrote (I'm probably the youngest member on this site, so I just wanted to make sure I wrote like I was older). And I do have a passion for music, even if I like crappy mainstream rock, nu metal, and hard rock (which seems despised on this site).
I have that same problem, i'm fairly young myself though i think most guys on here are like in their mid to late-20's, and most of them write some seriously well-written pieces.
But regarding to music taste i was into the same stuff when i was in middle school i liked Linkin Park, slipknot, system of a down, AC/DC. now i'm a freshmen in college and i'm into Prog/Psychedelic Rock, Jazz- music i never expected to be into to.
I'm 15 in High School, and I'm still in that Linkin Park, Slipknot phase I guess. I do play a lot of Jazz and Blues on drums though (just can't stand Jazz, but It's hard and fun to play). I live in Georgia as well, so I'm open to a lot of country as well (just isn't my fav either)