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We Die Tonight - "Stem The Tide" - (Self released) 3.5/5

'Just when you thought it was safe to go back to the inbox....' The tide of metalcore wannabes had been drying up over the past few months, and I was starting think the whole movement was dead or at least on its last legs; but then with out warning my inbox and ears are suddenly brutally assaulted by this four tracker by London hopefuls We Die Tonight, to show us that the corpse of metalcore hasn't quite finished kicking just yet.

To be honest, this one aint that bad, and does have something interesting to bring to the table. While in some places it does sound a bit like almost every other metalcore outfit I've been sent recently, in other places it show some creativity. There's the superb climax to opener Dancing With Daggers with its impressive selection of riffs, insanely heavy approach and some cool and controlled dirty vocals; and the wonderful Salt In The Sharkbite which kicks off with a very impressive speedcore opening, takes in a mathcore sequence that make Periphery sound like a 4/4 rock and roll band and some glorious post thrash brutal guitar attack.

But there is a fundamental flaw here, and that's the vocals. Like every other metal core outfit since the dawn of time we have the old clean and dirty vocalist interplay here. Now because every metalcore band on the planet, and their dogs are doing that the whole thing since the year dot, it's starting to become a bit of a cliche, and unless its done very very well, just doesn't work. And sadly this is the case here.

Now please, please, please don't get me wrong , both the clean and dirty vocals here are good, both guys (that's if it IS two guys and not Peter Park doing vocal gymnastics - the press notes that came with this aint clear about this point), are powerful, clear understandable and suit the music well. But its just they blend together like oil and water. They just don't sit well together, The dirty vocals are powerful direct and brutal, the cleans softer in attack and are hesitant is a sort of Elvis Costello way, the result is they clash horribly in the mix, jangle the nerves and just don't sound right.

This is a shame cos if the clean vocals were taken out and the lines added to the dirty's you would have a bit of metalcore gem here. And by the same measure if the cleans sang everything We Die Tonight would be a power / thrash metal band to take note of... but together...nah. The problem is compounded by the fact that as instrumentalists WDT are one of the best bands I've heard in a while, and with either vocals they could be great.

In Short, Not bad, but....

For Fans Of... Screaming Eyes, Periphery, Devil Wear Prada, Terakai, etc...

1 comment:

  1. I had better explain what I mean by the Elvis Costello reference. I'm not saying the cleans here sound like Mr Costello at all. its just the approach. The Dirty vocals here are right on cue, coming in on the 'b' of the bang so to speak. The cleans come it more on the 'a' or 'n' of the bang. This isn't a bad thing, its just a different approach to attacking the phase; people like Jim Morrison, the aforementioned Mr Costello, and Neil Young to name but three all do (or did) very well with it. Just that here it don't sit well with the dirty vocals.