Review Summary: trance metal.
Sometimes it seems like Japanese people come from a different planet, and that isn’t even racism talking, that’s just common knowledge. Their bizarre obsession with all things anime has officially creeped out most of us by now (even though it’s unnaturally cute), and it seems not even an album cover can avoid the anime treatment. Anyway, the reason to mention this is because Japanese bands are generally as insane as you would expect them to be. Unfortunately, Epsilon
is the kind of album that looks good on the outside, but isn’t quite as epic on the inside. It’s a solid album, for sure, but in comparison to Amaranthe’s impressive debut album, Blood Stain Child’s newest album suddenly doesn’t look so unique.
It seems that melodic death metal is a genre that continuously runs out of juice, and an album like this staples that feeling. You see, melodic death metal is getting lighter with age, to the point where the “death” part of metal can sometimes be forgotten (it is in this album). Blood Stain Child’s version of melodic death metal incorporates large doses of trance, which isn’t really as original as you might imagine. Also, the album has a decidedly poppy feel to it, with interlaced pop beats and electronics, and although the trance elements attempt to make the album unique, it ends up as a pop metal album. It’s less of a metal album with pop elements, and more of a pop album with metal elements. Whether or not this helps or hinders the album is debatable, and ultimately depends on your personal preference. In my opinion, it isn’t necessarily bad, but it takes away from the album being convincing as a melo death album. Then again, it still makes a lot of fun, and more accessible songs.
The metal elements here are typical, but done fairly nicely. The guitars bring the heavy, melodic riffs, and the drums are surprisingly excellent with double bass kicking and even some blastbeats. There are a few problems though. The bass guitar is inaudible, and the screams, although decent enough, happen to be incredibly grating. Considering that the screams really contribute to the melo death feel, it is important for them to be there in such an extensive level, but at the same time it would be nice for him to shut up for once. The greatest aspect of the album is the supreme melodies with strong choruses, so whenever screams are done, the melodic feel is decimated. In short, the band can’t decide what they want to be, and this leaves the listener in confusion, not sure what they’re supposed to like. Top off the album with poor recording quality, and you get an album that seems worse than it actually is.
Despite some flaws, the album is still entirely catchy, fun, and listenable. Many thanks are given to the new lead singer, Sophia, who is a rather proficient singer, and honestly, her vocals fit this type of music perfectly. With the correct amount of punch and pop in her voice, she compliments the music perfectly, which is also punchy and poppy. Blood Stain Child have made an album that is definitely solid, but in comparison to other bands that do the same style but better, one never shakes the feeling that it isn’t that special.