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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

STILL REMAINS ‘The Serpent’ Roadrunner Records (2007)

The new album by the US Christian metalcore band (don’t you just love all these different genres in metal?) who have two new members in bassist Steve Hetland and keyboards player Ben Schauland.
The band manages to mix aggressive guitar riffing/dark vocals with big melodies and a lot of keyboards. The title track opener is a gorgeous keyboard led instrumental before ‘The Wax Walls Of An Empty Room’ sees the clean, melodic vocals of JT Miller mix well with the darker, gruff vocals of guitarist Mike Church. ‘Sleepless Nights Alone’ could have fallen off a H.I.M. album, very melodic rock with just the right amount of metal backing. ‘Maria’ sees the band dip into quieter waters with some success although they seem better suited at the faster paced tunes. ‘Dancing With The Enemy’ verges into emo territory, although fans of Mt Chemical Romance will doubtless like this one!
Good to see a band that successfully marries aggressive metal guitar riffs and vocals with melodies, many of which would could gain a lot of airplay. I was pleasantly surprised as I am not a big fan of growl vocals but when used to complement a much more melodic voice they compliment each other very well. Never mind the genres this is just damn fine metal music!

Jason Ritchie


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