Review Summary: With a new lineup and a new image, Salt The Wound prepare to take on the musical realm in stride. The only question left unanswered is 'For better or worse?'
First impressions are always important. I'm not going to lie. The only reason I batted an eyelash at this album was the cover. Yeah, I thought it was badass, what of it? I thought, they must've had a good budget for the cover, so perhaps the music inside would be just as good. Well I was wrong. Dead wrong.
Apparently Ares is defined as "The Greek war god, the son of Zeus and Hera. An unpopular deity, Ares received serious worship only in central and northern Greece. In mythology he appears as an instigator of violence, a tempestuous lover, or an unscrupulous friend. Without any moral attributes, Ares can be bloody, merciless, fearful, and cowardly, in striking contrast to the Roman Mars." Perhaps they named their album 'Ares' because they knew it was going to suck, as if they had foreknowledge that it, like it's namesake, would only be enjoyed by small groups of people who were likely spread across the globe in minute amounts. In that sense, the album and band succeeded, however in all other senses, the band simply failed. Let's take a closer look at this thing, shall we?
Apparently Salt The Wound decided to drop most of their original members from the lineup for this release. Why exactly this happened I don't know. However I did take note that only two members from the debut release, Carnal Repercussions, appeared on this album. Perhaps that sheds some light onto the sound differences between the two. While this album is categorized as 'Deathcore' I got a much more Hardcore vibe from this record, and the vocals seem more along the lines of something you'd hear in hardcore punk as well. While I'm on the subject of the vocals, I have to admit, they aren't that pretty to listen to. Now I know that sounds rather stupid coming from a person talking about a genre such as Deathcore, but certain standards must be followed and the vocal delivery on this album simply does not match them. For example, on the opener, Mutations, the vocal track feels rushed, almost as if they did it in only one take. It comes with all the cliche deathcore traits, such as high pitched shrieks, gang vocals, and even the telltale breakdown appear in this song. While it isn't anything poor in itself, it's simply too average. In the end, that's all that holds this album back, it's simply too average. The other tracks follow suit in this direction, and it's really all quite boring. I guess this brings to mind the old saying, 'You can't judge a book by it's cover'. I know I most certainly won't ever again.