I really want to get back into a habit of reviewing mostly less-known bands. It just seems pointless to repeat reviews of bands that you can find all over the internet. The point of this blog should be to help people find things they couldn’t find elsewhere. A quick search confirms that it is hard to find a review of this album (if one even exists somewhere).
This band is extremely similar to 22 in my mind (“Screaming is Serious Business Pt II” could be lifted right off that album). They are a little darker and have a sort of indie/emo rock vibe to them. But apart from that difference, they write some heavy songs with a pop sensibility. The bass usually has a funky groove to it and the rhythm guitar chugs out some strange complicated rhythms.
There is quite a bit of melody in the vocals. Although these melodies are catchy enough to get stuck in your head, they don’t write overly simple cliched “hooks.” Melodies are allowed to wander all over the place which keeps things interesting, and there’s a lot of difficult intervallic jumping as opposed to typical stepwise motion. To me, it strikes just the right balance. Not too simple, but still catchy.
This album may not be heavy or abstract enough for some readers. Some of the songs could even be described as beautiful ballads (see “Over Under and Around the Game” one of the gems of the album if you ask me), but even these have a turmoil boiling under them which explodes at some point into sincere yell-singing with some post-hardcore distortion. I really buy into it and go the distance with them.
Sometimes in metal we get yelling for the sake of yelling or brutal dissonance for its own sake. It is easy to forget that these can also be tools to convey certain emotions. This is what I like about this album. Other than the fact that there’s some fun and technical moments, they craft the songs so that the metal elements are there for a purpose.
The songs fit what the song is about. The two work in conjunction with each other. This is a classically important technique of songwriting, but rare these days. Bands have genres that they fit the song to no matter what the song is about. Amarionette aren’t afraid to let the song dictate what is best.
This album has it all. The band is incredibly talented from a technical standpoint. The album is fun, dark, sad, intense, and even at times jazzy. It cycles you through these with a realness that I haven’t heard in awhile. I think fans of 22 will not be disappointed. Overall I give it an 8.5/10, but depending on how well this stands the test of time I may improve this number.
Here’s a sample (but seriously there’s so much variety that you might want to click through the playlist this comes from even if this one doesn’t do it for you):