Review Summary: A metalcore classic, in my opinion.
I know I'm going to get a lot of crap for giving this album a five but I really don't care. In my opinion, this was the greatest release of this generation's metalcore. Period. You're not gonna find another metalcore release from this generation that is as fantastic as this album is. First off, what I like so much about this is that it is a release from a relatively unknown band (This or the Apocalypse) from a relatively unknown label (Good Fight Records). So to see something this great from barely popular sources is amazing in itself.
Drumming: I'll start this review by talking about the drumming on this album. There is drumming on here that puts August Burns Red
's Matt Greiner to shame. Believe me, that is in no way an easy feat. The album opens up with "Charmer," which has a fantastic drum roll at the beginning. The drumming on "Subverse" still includes some technical drumming but focuses more on keeping the melody of the song. Throughout the album, that is what I like the most about the drumming. He shows his chops but at the same time, is able to keep a melody. Where most drummers focus on one or the other, the drumming on this album keeps an amazing balance of both.
Guitars: The guitars on this album are just amazing. If you listen to metalcore bands that chug the entire damn song, just walk away from this. Haunt What's Left shows some fantastic shredding. The only other metalcore band I can think of that shreds as much as this band is August Burns Red. And even then, ABR focuses so much on showing how good they are at guitar that they forget to write a melody. The guitarists pull off what the drummer also pulled off, combining the technical, shredding riffs of ABR with the melody of Killswitch Engage
. The bass guitar? Eh. Not really audible but like I said in another review of mine, metalcore production is gonna have inaudible bass 90% of the time.
Vocals: The vocalist is phenomenal. One of the greatest vocalists I've ever heard in this genre. His screams aren't so br00tal that you can't understand the lyrics. His screams have more of a shouting tone to it, kind of like Oli Sykes on Bring Me the Horizon
's There Is A Hell album. And that's a good thing in my opinion. I'm getting tired of all these bands that wanna see how much of a br00tal tone they can add to their voice. It gets quite annoying. And this dude's screams are enough to add to the heaviness of the music, while at the same time, being just enough to let the lyrics shine through. The clean vocals are incredible. Where most metalcore nowadays is all whiny-ass, nasally pop/punk singing, this guy has a singing voice that actually sounds like a male. A deeper tone with the roughness that you can find in hard rock. Not to mention, clean vocals are not as prominent as the screams. So if you're one of the people that hates clean vocals, this should be fine for you.
Production: The production of this album is fantastic. First off, the album was executive produced by CHRIS ADLER! In case you don't know, that is the drummer from Lamb of God
. Basically the greatest metal band of this era. Makes sense considering the drums are the best produced portion of this album. The drums don't sound all sampled and ridden with effects. The drums have a natural tone to it that make you feel like you're there watching the band record this album. The guitars have a real metal sound to it and not that thin tone that you'd expect from producers like Cameron Mizell and Joey Sturgis. I just wish the bass guitar would have been turned up in the mix. The vocals are well produced also but are the least astonishing when it comes to vocals. It's just nice to hear vocals that aren't watered down behind the music.
In conclusion, Haunt What's Left is an album that combines the heaviness of August Burns Red, the melodic song structure of Killswitch Engage, and the vocals of Oli Sykes' (Bring Me the Horizon) most recent material. A heavy hitter that is sure to have secured this band's place as the kings of this generation's metalcore scene. I highly suggest getting this album as soon as possible and sitting down and listening to it. Start to finish.