Archive for Lifeforce Rec

This or the Apocalypse – Dead Years

Posted in Review with tags , , , , on 25th August 2012 by -Scorpius-

This or the Apocalypse
Dead Years
Released 24th September
Melodic Hardcore
Released via Lifeforce Records

This or the Apocalypse are a 5 piece metal/melodic hardcore band from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, USA and it is often thought of as Amish country but it apparently has a big city feel to it and a thriving arts and music scene. Fronted by Rick Armellino, This or the Apocalypse quote themselves on their Facebook page as being, “A band that exhibits the patience and dedication to step outside the box to create something both heavy and unique. Their craft of song is intelligent, scathing, honest and even uplifting”.

Their new album, Dead Years starts with a track called Hell Praiser which begins with a lo-fi up and down scale on the guitar and a chopping bass, the lo-fi effect is then dropped and the vocals scream their way in along with the rest of the band with the same up and down scale riff on guitars.

The vocals on this first track are surprisingly gritty and in some places quite death metal sounding and to be honest are the only point of merit on this track.

Track two is entitled, Power Hawk and it instantly sounds like an Enter Shikari song, and there are a few electronic sounding elements as well as some Djent style riffage on the guitars as well as some stuttered vocal effects. The track doesn’t immediately impress but it is clear that it would be quite a mainstream and radio friendly type of track on some radio stations.

The third track on the album, In Wolves, starts off with some quite pleasant rhythm on the drums and guitar and then more Djent style riffage comes in, next up is a very clichéd piece of “clean” style singing that you will hear on 1000’s of records from across the world which is cut up with the familiar attempt at screaming vocals. There is also a standard breakdown that seems the popular thing to do these days, which I personally find very boring and predictable.

Americans, the title of the fourth track on this album, starts with a reasonably pleasant clean picking guitar riff, along with what sound like a very reverberated piano. A standard hardcore/djent vocal comes in and the track turns into a very boring and bland attempt at mixing heavy elements with the more softened melodic feel, this is a very poor and ill thought out attempt at making an “anthem” style of track in my opinion.

Track five, Hate The One’s You Love starts with dare I say it a mix of The Killers style of riffs and the increasingly boring and familiar djent stop start guitar which is then followed by some incredibly clichéd and boring ideas, the track then slowly morphs into a sort of Enter Shikari style song with a few almost death metal style vocals thrown in which then blends into a melodic dreamlike state and then back into the djent style with what a surprise! A breakdown! Bland and predictable is all I can say about this track and it warrants no further comment.

Interestingly track six, You Own No One But You, is a marked improvement on all the previous tracks and actually starts with a pretty edgy riff which sounds quite interesting, the vocals however I find are very uninspiring and predictable until about the 1 minute 20 second mark where the song gradually takes on a more death metal feel, which I like! But alas, yet another breakdown comes in and then some very clichéd clean teen pop style lyrics, it’s an interesting mix of styles and it does work to a point however I do wish there was more of the death metal style ideas in this song and then maybe it would make a half decent track.

Track seven,  A Damn Moment, is so boring it barely even needs a description! If you were to smash together a track by the Killers and Enter Shikari then this would be the result and a piss poor result at that!

Gaunt and Fierce is the eighth track on the album and it sounds reasonably pleasant as it starts, this is the kind of track that would feel very at home on Kerrang Radio and many other similar radio stations aimed at selling boring and uninspiring tripe to teenagers, needless to say this track is incredibly commercial and clichéd and no doubt many teenagers who may be getting into metal etc. will like this track, I can imagine it playing on their stereo systems night and day, however it will stay silent on mine. The track is entitled Gaunt and Fierce, the resulting musical mess is anything but.

The penultimate track is entitled, Kill Em’ With Guidance and isn’t actually that bad of a track if you like the sound of lift music while you are working, all joking aside however the track is better than the vast bulk of this album and is half listenable apart from an inevitable breakdown in the middle of the track.

The final track, Hard Branch to Snap, is by far the most clichéd track on this album and is quite obviously inspired by early Enter Shikari and the Djent style. It tries really hard to be fast, heavy and brutal in its style and unfortunately it is a great failure in that attempt. This is by far the most disappointing track on the entire album but I know for a fact there will be hordes of young teenagers who lap this up and actually think it is “Brootal” as they put it.

To summarise, I was not a fan of this album, Dead Years, and I can easily say I will not becoming a fan of This or the Apocalypse. To me this is yet another example of a band that is selling out into a trend of bland and uninspiring tripe, this type of music is ten a penny and if you turn onto any mainstream station that plays “metal” then this is the kind of thing that you will hear. The Album reeks of a poor attempt to copy Enter Shikari and I say a poor attempt as Enter Shikari are an ok band and this band have made attempted to make a carbon copy of their style, mixed in with a bit of The Killers (who I hate with a passion).

This or the Apocalypse do however have a sizeable fan base and no doubt it is made up of adoring teenage fans who absolutely love their music, however they will grow out of it and they will move on to bigger and better things, their music taste will develop and grow and they will begin finding out styles that express their attitude to life. I suppose this is the crux of my argument, this music is for the current teenage population, so if you are from the age of 12-16 and your into the hardcore and djent style of music then this band is most likely for you, if you like your music to sound like a 1000 other sell out carbon copy bands then yet again this band is for you… However, if you have a well-defined musical palette and you know your stuff then you will steer clear of this absolute tripe at all cost!

This or the Apocalypse?

In all honestly I’d prefer the Apocalypse!