Review Summary: Upon the sophomore release of what was a decent metalcore band, the word 'generic' was tossed around a bit too early.Of Love and Lunacy
laid the bricks on the path of success for Michigan outfit Still Remains
. A strong metalcore record earned the group of 6 musicians a legion of fans as songs like White Walls
and The Worst is Yet to Come
proved widely popular amongst listeners. Now, 2 years since the release of the aforementioned record, The Serpent
hits stores and once again loyal fans are in for a huge surprise.
What brought Of Love and Lunacy
together were the, while not always original, catchy riffs, well crafted melody and raw metalcore elements that are being seen more and more often in the now heavily expanding genre. Two years ago, fans embraced the uniqueness of the Still Remains
sound in it's own way. What's happened now? It seems that the band have completely removed all affiliation with the type of music that made them what they are today. The Serpent
brings what was once a decent metalcore band into the new generation of incredibly generic sounding metal. The type of music that, despite the fact you've never listened to it in your life, you'll be overcome with the strange feeling of deja vu after the third track.
I'll be honest with you, I've listened to this album many times over, determined to sort something out. Exactly what are they going for in this record? Are they trying to step out of the metalcore scene? Are they looking to make themselves sound unique? Why have they ignored everything that anyone ever liked about them? Let's take a look at the title track. The song is something I can only label as a bad attempt at being progressive. Synthesizers, redundant drumming, and basically, boring intrumentals make the title track nothing more then an excuse to wear out the 'next song' button on your iPod. This leads me back to the rhetorical questions, folks...what does this add to the album? Other then putting the listener to sleep (and saving them from the despair of actually listening to the rest of the album), it's a useless track.
Some might say this is Still Remains
maturing in their music. I say that this is Still Remains
proving the fact that the little originality they had was drained in Of Love and Lunacy
(an album which can be considered 'yet another similiar sounding metalcore CD', which is saying a lot about their originality). They turn out to be nothing more then a rock band playing one too many breakdowns to be considered 'Depeche Mode' wannabes.
As much as the new sound dominates the album, there is hope of a metalcore return for the band. Tracks such as Anemia in Your Sheets
and Dropped From the Cherry Tree
give hope for fans, while stand out completely from the sound of the other tracks on the album. Anemia In Your Sheets
lays down a solid metal tune while Maria
can be considered the softest song on the album, an emotional progressive metal song. Neither of the songs are excellent in my books but they do their part in making the record bearable for the poor souls who insist on listening to it. Dropped From the Cherry Tree
is the only track on the album I bothered to keep. It's the only song that can be directly related to the roots of the band and undoubtedly stands tall as the heaviest (and not even that heavy, to be honest) song on the album.
This album has what most fans of bands have nightmares about. It's incredibly generic; the band has completely changed, and the qualities that most die-hard fans saw in the band have been eliminated, leaving way for boring, bland, and repetetive music. Still Remains
once held a place high in the regards of metal and hardcore fans alike. With the release of The Serpent
, everything they worked hard to achieve has been destroyed and the band starts anew as one of the many bands that will forever dwindle in quality as record after record is released, each proving more and more dissapointing as their predecessor.
Or they could totally surprise us and make their next album worth the bloody listen.