Review Summary: A band with immense potential who could go on to do great things with their genre mixed sound.
What would happen if a power metal vocalist kidnapped all but the singer of Killswitch Engage and forced them to compose music with him? Personally, I think the results would be something remarkably like Mutiny Within
. Now, whether or not you agree with my use of Killswitch Engage doesn't matter. Pick a band of the metalcore genre of your choice and pretend I used them. The point is that Mutiny Within are combining a harder edged metallic core with a soaring melodic coating of power metal, and the results are pretty solid.
The album kicks things off with lead single "Awake"
, the first song I heard by them, and it's a very good introduction to both the band, the album, and their style. The song swells up out of silence, piano dancing into the atmosphere, but this all only lasts long enough to create the mood, as the song kicks into gear very suddenly and blasts us with high-tempo drumming and riffing. The song never really lets up. It's in the verses that we're introduced to the inter-playing of singing and screaming/roaring that will be a big part of why this album is pretty unique. Unlike metalcore, the singing and screaming aren't restricted to a screamed verse and a sung chorus. The verses tend to be a mixture of screaming and singing. Though it is regrettable that there is not as much variation and interplay between the two in the choruses, which are almost entirely sung. Speaking of the chorus, it's a big one, and you're going to get a lot of those out of this album.
I wont spend too much time on that one song, but it really sums up what you can expect. "Images"
, the second track, pretty much cements the sound, as does "Falling Forever"
. And it's hard not to get excited about it, it's an exciting sound, it feels like something very big, and a good deal is going on. The keyboards often provide subtle ear candy, something of an atmosphere. By "Year of Affliction"
, I was pretty much swept away by it all.
But something happened to me around "Undone"
. I realized that, even though the tracks weren't
all the same, they began to blur together. I began to take less note of the tracks ending and new tracks beginning, the formula was slightly too homogeneous. I blame this mostly on the use of an epic chorus for every track, and the fact that they had opted to leave roars and screams entirely out of some of the songs. Eventually, the same soaring choruses I praised were predictable, and though the instrumentation remained unique for the genre, some of the songs lacked the harsh vocals that accentuated it's presence. This is my biggest complaint about the album, they could use more variation. Admittedly, missing the harsh vocals is a purely personal opinion, but I thought it added to their charm, their sound. It's a good sound, and kudos to them for it. They just need to be careful not to repeat themselves, or drift too far one way or another.
This is a band with immense potential, and it will be exciting to see where they go with this sound of theirs. Is it perfectly original? No, many will point out that bands like Threshold and Adagio have already thrown some roars into the mix. But they stayed more firmly power metal
, and their mixture involved more traditional metal, not metalcore. Therefor, I separate their genre mixing achievements as different sounds. This stands out, even if not all the tracks stand out from each other.