Johnny Truant are an up-and-coming metal band from the UK. They don't conform to the current "fashioncore" trends. They don't make commercially viable radio songs. They are unrelenting. And most importantly, they ***ING ROCK!!!
Produced by Adam D. (I'm ***ed if I'm gonna attempt to spell that guy's surname), you'd expect this to be heavier than a truckload of sumos. You WILL NOT be disappointed!
As soon as "I Love You Even Though You're A Zombie Now" blasts out of the speakers and kicks a hole in your skull, you know this is going to be one fun, and ***ed-up ride. The guitars crunch, and engage in some absolutely frantic riffing, the drums are constantly twirling in and out of various insane beats, the bass locks in intricately with the drumming, and the vocals are positively beastlike, reverting between full on screams and growling, and a slightly cleaner (only slightly I must stress!) sort of yelp. These are traits which will continue throughout the album.
"The Bloodening" has a more hardcore edge, and some violent lyrics ("you still have your limbs, so you can run" and "BURY THE CORPSES!!!" for example), and yet more frantic riffing, before going into a quieter section driven predominantly by bass and drums. It's times like these that you could most probably agree with the "emo band playing death metal" descriptions that have been levelled at the band in the past. The mosh part with its feral screams and ominous guitar parts hammers the point home.
A hell of a groove is to be found at the start of "Realist Surrealist" just before Olly screams "LET'S ROCK!" As cliched as this may sound, you truly won't care when you hear the carnage that follows. A statement of intent indeed. Later on, the song hits a slightly more "emo" direction, with some almost-spoken vocals. The amazing drumwork never lets up, and the minor chord work of the guitar only adds to the effect of the band showing a slightly less brutal side.
"Dirty Vampire Feeding Frenzy" begins with a simple but effective sort of juddering guitar riff, which threads in and out of various sections which feature some absolutely evil vocals. Suddenly it all goes a bit Sabbath on us, with a slow section that wouldn't be out of place if it was shoved into the mid section of "War Pigs"!!! Following this is a brilliant instrumental part. The bass (with a nice echo effect) provides the backbone for the precision drumwork, and sublime, wandering guitar riff. Just when you're lulled into a false sense of security, the Truant hit the pedal to the metal again, and repeat aformentioned instrumental at absolute fever pitch and with added screaming and growling for good measure.
"Throne Vertigo" kicks off with a beautiful melodic delay-drenched guitar intro, and the verse which follows is much less heavier than previous tracks, almost betraying a bare skeleton of emo... then having been commanded to "bring our weapons to the disco," the pace picks right up for a frantic coda before the haunting intro is repeated and leads into a more hardcore-tinged section. This may be the shortest song on the album, but it's also one of the hardest hitting, and it shows most of the schizophrenic musical personalities of Johnny Truant perfectly.
"Vultures" is a clean and subdued musical intermission, with a nicely picked guitar line and simplistic but effective drumwork (mainly military drumrolls). The haunting high pitched guitar lines placed here and there send shivers down the spine.
Just when "Vultures" has gotten you all daydreamy and relaxed, "A Day In The Death" comes along to shatter the calm. A torrent of crunching riffs veering off along widdly tangents, and an incredibly emotional and fiery vocal delivery make this a definite highlight.
A slow and calculated intro slowly builds up to the absolute noiseblast of the main riff of "The Necropolis Junction," a mixed bag of a song, which features mad riffs and blastbeats in places, and lulls into slower repetitive sections in others. The lyrics such as "the clouds are dripping poison" and the ominous guitar riffs give an incredibly effective atmosphere of unease.
"I The Exploder" starts as mere noises, vague hints of bassline and wisps of guitar, which build up to an eerie guitar riff, punctuated with odd hits of crash cymbal. The main part of the song then catches the listener off guard, and proceeds to slowly but surely bludgeon and beat them into submission, before hitting a frantic crescendo and a great riff packed full of pinch harmonics and sheer venom. Gang vocals scream "I AM THE EXPLODER!" heralding yet another great section of the song, this time featuring more exemplary drumwork. In case you hadn't realised by this point, JT aren't a band who like to use the old verse-chorus-verse schtick. The spice of variety is much more apparent than anything else.
Ringing feedback, and a fantastic drum section (which sounds kind of "far away" to begin with, slowly coming "into focus"... hard to explain but you'll know what I mean when you hear it) kick off the epic closer "Footprints In The Thunder." Soon joined by an evil riff, this all makes for an incredibly atmospheric intro to a varied, brutal, and epic sounding closing track. There's even an acoustic section (brief, but it's there!) Notably, this is also the only track to feature some tuneful sung vocals. These build up in the background towards the end to great effect. What a way to end the album!!!
In short, Johnny Truant have perfected their blend of metal, hardcore, emo (more in lyrics than in sound), straight up riff-o-rama rock, atmospherics, and great musicianship on "In The Library Of Horrific Events." Every track stands alone as an exemplary piece of work. If you like your metal heavy, brutal, unrelenting, heartfelt and honest, you NEED THIS ALBUM!!!