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Wednesday 6 March 2019

Reviews: Smoke Signals, Aenimus, Echoes Of Eternity, To The Rats And Wolves (Reviews By Polly)

Smoke Signals: Letting Go (Self Released)

I’m finding this album difficult to review because honestly, I enjoyed it that much. If Breaking Benjamin added some beef to their band’s diet I believe this would be the outcome. I particularly like how they go from having catchy choruses and then spring on epic growls that just come from nowhere. Destruction being a favourite on the album has the type of drum beats paired with vocals that make you want to walk like a badass. It generally gives me nostalgia of when I first discovered the metal genre in early 00’s but with its own modern twist that is needed to stay relevant at the speed metal genres progress. 

I’m a little disappointed that there aren't enough breakdowns on the album, it doesn’t make me want to get up and go wild which is something I look for in music. It’s easy to see why they named the album Letting Go as the track on the album stood out to me the most and has been made an addition to a couple of my playlists. It has the perfect transition from Dead Inside into Fight and it's having songs like this one after the other, is one of the reasons I adore this album. They all differ in their own way but have their own statement that binds everything together. Fight has a moment where there is a perfect pause before a grinding head banging riff sets in. Overall I’d say this album is a winner with a few tweaks needing to be made, but no one is perfect. 8/10

Aenimus: Dreamcatcher (Nuclear Blast)

This album is exactly what I needed to conclude my weekend, with a combination of head bopping riffs the album progresses into pure, raw and awesome djent. It’s safe to say the album has left a djent in my heart (don’t hate me for that pun). The opening track gives a whimsical vibe that had me hooked immediately. On a first impression, drummer Nick Bothelo’s random impulses of speed stood out for me the most. After 3 or 4 times listening I found myself saying “this is my favourite bit”. The technical groove of the guitars in The Overlook with softer tones as the song progresses to my favourite solo of the album. 

In terms of vocals that moment was the growl halfway through Caretaker with the cleverly placed horror-esque chime moves into a piano melody painted a picture of Stockholm syndrome. It's an album that has a lot things to I love with other favourites being; My Becoming, The Dark Triad and Second Sight. Final song Dreamcatcher is the perfect conclusion to an album that I will binge-listen to on a loop. The album is a brilliant contribution to the prog and djent genre. 8/10

Echoes Of Eternity: Ageless (Self Released)
My first impression of this record, was that the vocals felt a little bit cliché, but the more I listened the more it grew on me. Although it isn’t an album I’d usually be drawn to, I did enjoy it. The acoustic touches of the album were a refreshing contribution. A combination of Francie Boucher’s soaring vocals and the melodic riffs of the album give a soothing vibe, this was evident as my road rage decreased significantly when listening to the album (impressive). My favourite tracks on the album are; Ageless and To The Sea

I did find myself singing along to a few tracks on and then leaving myself in disgust by how much I failed miserably at even attempting to reach Boucher’s impressive vocal range. There is an elephant in the room, why are the demos on the album just demos? Although to be quite honest I preferred the demos to the majority of the album, so they have boosted my overall score. I enjoyed the album and would definitely listen to it again and keep an eye out for what the band do in the future. . 6/10

To The Rats And Wolves: Cheap Love (Arising Empire)

To be honest I was disappointed with the To The Rats And Wolves fourth album after being a fan of their previous work. The album began on a high with a few tracks that were catchy but nowhere near the standard they have previously set. The opening track Cheap Love was perfect to introduce the album with the combination of trance and metalcore. The favourable tracks on the album would be; Cheap Love, Therapy and Friendz that has salvaged my overall opinion of the album. The album falls more into the category of pop-rock than metalcore, even though it is catchy and I can see it took a lot of work I wouldn’t put it up there with my favourite type of music. Sorry guys, but not your best work. 4/10

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