Voices: Metal’s Next Big Radio Band?

UK-based metal band Dead Romantic dropped their debut album, ‘Voices’, today. We managed to get exclusive access to it a few days early to review it and I have to say I am very thankful; this album is pretty awesome. If you want a more in-depth review than that, by all means, keep reading! 

‘My Parade (Fuck You)’ opens with a pretty heavy guitar riff and some awesome tech/electronic sounds behind it, giving off pretty major Bring me the Horizon or Linkin Park vibes. It drops back to just the electronics, drums, and the powerful vocals for the verse, adding some great dynamics as it slowly builds to a MASSIVE chorus. It’s catchy as anything and highlighted perfectly by the heavier instrumentation again. I have to admit the lyrics are a little more juvenile than what I prefer, but I understand the emotion behind the song and they definitely fit. The end of the second chorus heralds a great breakdown and a pretty impressive, technical guitar solo. Both could have gone on slightly longer I’d have said, but it’s a very small nit-pick really, that I want more of the quality song! A fantastic opener and introduction to the band for anyone unfamiliar!

One of the singles, ‘Kissed with a Lie’, is another that opens on a huge riff after a few seconds of atmospheric build, this time the vocals coming in right from the offset with what I imagine will be the chorus hook. It again drops down for a slower, quieter verse, almost giving me My Chemical Romance vibes for some reason! The chorus is again massive and even catchier than the previous songs, a clear indicator as to why this was a single. Another great little breakdown follows the second chorus, heavy but also radio-friendly at the same time. It again wasn’t quite as long as I feel it could have been before it drops down to another slower part, but I’m just becoming more and more a sucker for heavy music, it seems! We then have a final huge chorus to finish things off. This was awesome and easily makes the playlist.

This band is just full of heavy industrial metal-style riffs, as ‘Assassin’ proves with the third straight awesome opening riffs. However, almost thankfully actually, it stays pretty heavy through the verse with some awesome drum work. It still builds well into a slower, radio-baity chorus filled with huge guitar chords and soring, sing-alongable vocals. The guitar solo being over the slow part of the song this time was a nice touch, giving the notes a little more breathing room and added emotion as a result, making it my favourite solo on the album thus far. Again, the big final chorus takes us home and rounds out another great song.

Single ‘Yesterday’ is the slowest song on the album, the opening riff being VERY Linkin Park before it drops down like all the other songs. It also strangely builds up nicely through the verse before dropping all that momentum to go quiet for the pre again. The pre itself builds pretty well in its own right, but it wasn’t needed after the build in the verse. The song is generally slower than the previous ones, reminding me quite a bit of Bullet For My Valentine’s more recent slower songs. We get another slower guitar solo, good but a tad too short again, before the final chorus brings us home. This wasn’t a bad song by any stretch, but it felt a little bland to me, especially for a single.

I made a mistake with my last assessment, it turns out ‘Stay High’ is the slow ballad of the album, not the previous song. It opens on a pretty beautiful slow guitar riff, but the lyrics come in over the top and just remind me of Hollywood Undead, a band I am really not a fan of. I never really thought this sort of vocal style suited ballads, though I know how popular a lot of them are so I know I am in the minority. Still, when the distortion and heaviness comes in with the chorus it makes the song pretty enjoyable at least. I’m shocked a song like this wasn’t chosen as I single, I must admit, but then again at least ‘Yesterday’ was also a slower song. There isn’t much more I can say about this song, it’s a half-decent ballad from a pop-metal band, it’s enjoyable for what it is.

‘Cry For War’ picks up the pace again, but it is just more of the same; big opener, stripped back, slower verse, and a big, open and catchy chorus. There is very little to each song to differ from this aside from the odd short breakdown riff or guitar solo. It’s all pretty formulaic, and I hate to say a tad generic. I am definitely a fan of the style of music and would happily listen to the odd track of it if it came on on the radio or my playlist, but I’m struggling to listen to a full album of the same structure and feel and little variety. I do understand that it’s the band’s debut album though so I understand the need to establish their style and get the point across, it just got a little boring by this point.

I, unfortunately, have the same sort of analysis for the final single from the album ‘Fight Me’. However, I do have to say, it was a really, really good track. The chorus was on point, the breakdown riff was heavy and infectious and the instrumentation, in general, was fantastic. This is my favourite track on the album, despite what I have just said about the style in general. It easily makes the playlist!

Strangely, as if raising a middle finger to me, ‘Alibi’ comes along next and almost sounds like an indie-rock song. While I do take back some of what I said earlier on, the variety has come fairly late in the album, so maybe my issue is the front-loading nature of albums these days. After all, it’s rare that people listen to albums in full these days, so it makes a lot of sense. Dead Romantic, I’m sorry. That won’t happen often, I’d frame that and put it on the wall. I got massively off track here… I enjoyed the song! It was an interesting blend of styles and feels that I feel hasn’t been explored even nearly enough before now. It also had a pretty epic feel to it, compared to a few of the others, and the outro was pretty sick. It may even make the playlist, who knows… why don’t you go and check it out and see for yourself…?

The last three songs go back to the same formula as the first half of the album but at this point, I don’t mind it. All three were decent songs filled with catchy vocal hooks, fun grooves, and some awesome and heavy riffs. It’s still radio-friendly but again that isn’t a bad thing at all, I just wish the band had gone for it a bit more on one or two of the songs!

Overall: This was pretty damn good. As far as debut albums go this was better than most and the band definitely have one hell of a future ahead of them. There are a few INCREDIBLE tracks here that really stand out and I shall be listening to a lot over the coming months. I just hope they build on this sound going forward and (fingers crossed), add to the heaviness and riffs a little more. If some of the riffs had more time to breathe, this may have been up there with one of my favourite albums of the year. Even still, though, it is very damn good.

Score: 8/10

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