Review Summary: A showing of passion and absolute competency in all aspects of musicianship
From accidently stumbling upon this group on YouTube a number of months ago, and listening to their back-catalog with a solid ambivalence, whilst also becoming increasingly hyped with the release of each single from this record I am pleased to report that their latest offering is an absolutely superbly crafted piece of metal-core music.
There is nothing I can say here that hasn't been said about hundreds of other records before. The writing is interesting, the traditional instrumentation is extremely accomplished, and is uplifted by a number of atypical touches like violin and piano motifs which are shared between some tracks to form a kind of miniature leitmotif throughout the album.
Drum and guitar riffs on multiple songs had me convinced I was listening to another personal favorite Architects at times, showing the same ferocity and and forward rolling drum momentum which I cannot for the life of me express any better, and by this you can probably imagine what their sound is more or less akin to without tired descriptions of riffs and rhythms which are better listened to than read about. The album skews very much to the heavy side, with only two ballad-type tracks "Love & Grace" & "Death of You" which respectively show of the excellent piano and violin skill present throughout the rest of the album, and are quite hauntingly beautiful as such.
Lyrically the album touches upon the exhausted genre-typical themes of heartache, emptiness, broken love albeit with enough sincerity that the lyrics come across as heartfelt and don't cause your eyes to roll back into your skull. That said, the vocal delivery is absolutely top-tier, and frontman Eddie Berg can handle everything he attempts here with frightening ease, supported by very solid backing vocals. He carries ever the slightest accent when singing (which sounds superb) and his screaming is simultaneously extremely harsh, yet paradoxically tolerable and non-grating, a quality I adore in heavier music. Vocal techniques range all over the place from spoken word to anthemic chorus, typical singing and Disturbed-like guttural expulsions. The best showcase of this is certainly the songs "Lighthouse" and "Paralyzed", which have me wanting to scream along in chorus with every single listen.
I know I have perhaps failed to capture the essence of a typical '4' record, but all I can say to further support my claim is that this has been playing in my every spare moment since it released and I simply enjoy the absolute passion this album has ignited within me, and feel like these lads from Sweden could certainly do with some further exposure, and recommend them whole-heatedly.