Review Summary: Would you like some riffs with your cheese?
It’s an interesting feeling when you find an album truly special. An album that actually changes your perspective on something, that helps you get through a rough breakup, or hell maybe it’s just the right sounds at the right time – whatever it is, it sticks. Even after years pass it still brings up those same emotions from when you first heard it, the same memories you repressed come back into light and the beautiful blindness of nostalgia takes over. State: In Denial
hard to be this album.
It’s filled with uplifting chorus hooks, soaring guitar leads and melodic riffs comparable to August Burns Red with an extra dose of melody. Pop choruses aren’t uncommon, and busty electronic breaks and keyboard sound effects come and go as the band sees fit. The two vocalists have passable chops – Christopher Kristensen has a solid tough guy scream that drives the heavier parts while Nils-Petter Nilsson handles the clean singing during the softer refrains. The guitar and drum work is nothing spectacular but they get the job done, and the bass is almost completely inaudible throughout (shocker).
While the instrumentalists themselves are solid, the music they’re producing isn’t. The songwriting is mind numbingly basic. Even ‘Gone’, one of the few songs that don’t follow the standard AABA formula manages to be just as throwaway as everything else. Structurally it toys with the soft-hard dynamic, starting off with clean guitars and strings topped with Nilsson singing about whiny cliché breakup bullshit no one wants to hear. The first half is mostly quiet but it builds and builds, essentially to nothing. The climax of the song is a half assed breakdown feel with forced gang vocals over a horribly banal riff for about thirty seconds, then it finally closes with a soothing piano, guitar, and string fade out which is inadvertently the best part of the song. Demotional are dead set against throwing the listeners any curve balls. Listening to these songs is like listening to an even more generic crossbreed of As I Lay Dying and The Devil Wears Prada fit with a Scott Stapp impersonator crooning over every goddamn chorus. The presence of keyboards is entirely unnecessary as some of its hooks are absolutely grating, e.g. ‘I Tried’, and the near omnipresence of the two vocalists will have you screaming “shut up” repeatedly to your speakers.
Demotional did try to make a special album – in fact they tried so hard making everything squeaky clean, polished overproduced nonsense that they lost all ingenuity in the process. Putting aside the occasional catchy chorus (‘When She Cries’), nothing is worth salvaging from this forgettable by-product of the modern metalcore scene. Demotional is a fitting band name though, since no matter how hard they try to create something special, long lasting, and dare I say emotional, the final product leaves you feeling nothing at all.