Three Days Grace: “Outsider”
Three Days Grace, throughout this release, gives their audience a standard rock album. That being said, it isn’t surprising that the band provides strong instrumental parts that complement the vocal line throughout each work; however, throughout the album, it can be heard that the band includes moments where the instrumentalists can take the forefront to give their audience new melodic material to attach to that isn’t from the vocal motive. Each work on the album follows a similar format because the majority of the instrumental parts link up with one another when listening to the album from top to bottom. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it does present some risk, for some audience members may become bored with the similar format for each work. One commendable aspect of this album is that one can hear the band grinding into their music because each groove that is set remains firm until the end of that designated track, which helps to keep the album leaning forward. Overall, I would give this album a 3.5 out of 5 stars. The work as a whole represents the rock genre quite well, but the album itself is very vanilla. Recommended Tracks: Infra-Red, I Am An Outsider, Villain I’m Not
*”Outsider” was released on March 9, 2018 through RCA Records.
Red Sun Rising: “Thread”
Red Sun Rising pulls from various genres throughout their full-length album “Thread” to give their audience an over the top; popping album. When listening to this album moving track to track, it can be determined that each selection has that underlying alternative vibe to it; however, each work additionally has an additional genre influence, which makes each work completely different than the previous one. This helps the band to stand out amongst the other bands within this genre, for not many artists can pull off the meshing of genres, and this band performs it exceptionally. The instrumentals for this band fluctuate on a per-song basis. This has a lot to do with the mixing of genres, but this helps to keep the audience engaged when moving throughout the album, for they are continuously getting new musical material to resonate with. Another honorable thing to mention about this release is that the band provides a nice balance of instrumentals to vocal attention. Even though the vocals hold the primary focus throughout the album, the band keeps the instrumentation prominent by expanding on basic musical motives. Overall, I would give this album a 4 out of 5 stars. I am giving this album this score because this album grooves continuously while pulling from most musical genres, which is something uncommon for the alternative scene of music. Recommended Tracks: Left For Dead, Clarity, Evil Like You
*”Thread” was released on March 30, 2018 through New Razor & Tie Enterprises
Thirty Seconds to Mars: “AMERICA”
Thirty Seconds to Mars takes audience members to the closest relation of the pop musical genre for an alternative album release. They are able to pull this off while keeping their harmonics moving from each work simple. Simplicity isn’t a bad thing, though. This gives the band the opportunity to expand on their instrumentals as well as allow the vocal line to shine, so that the lyrical content can resonate with the listeners. However, the majority of the album utilizes minimal instrumentals with the addition of electronics to provide different tone colors to enhance the contour of the album. Again, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, for the way that their instrumentation blends with their vocal line produces an overly pleasing sound, which will drive the audience to continue to listen. Overall, I would give this album a 3.5 out of 5 stars. I was torn on the score of this album, for the musical content is decent; however, this release takes the band a bit closer to the pop genre of music than the alternative, which is a bit too out of character for the band, but the music is decent, so it’s just a tough call in general. Recommended Tracks: Hail to the Victor, Rescue Me, One Track Mind
*“AMERICA” was released on April 6, 2018 through Interscope Records.
Breaking Benjamin: “Ember”
Breaking Benjamin gives their audience an innovative album that drives their characteristic sound home throughout each track. The band is able to do so by keeping their instrumental techniques firm; meaning, throughout each song, the band keeps their instrumentals heavy in their attack, which helps to separate each musical phrase while keeping them on the heightened spectrum. The band compliments this by adding silence in sporadically, which will give the audience several moments to break the musical tension before moving to the next over the top section. Also, the band is able to keep the audience engaged, for they provide a nice juxtaposition of memorable vocals to intricate instrumental motives. This gives the audience the opportunity to sit with the characteristic sound of the band that they’ve come to love, for Breaking Benjamin is known for their clean vocals that are paired with instrumentals that may be found in a metal band. This mixture expands their likability, for they are able to reach more audience members with this tactic. Overall, I would give this album a 4.5 out of 5 stars. This score fits the album because Breaking Benjamin is known for producing show stopping albums, and this album fits the same mold as their others while taking an innovative approach. Recommended Tracks: Tourniquet, Torn in Two, Close Your Eyes
*”Ember” was released on April 13, 2018 through Hollywood Records.
Escape the Fate: “I Am Human”
Escape the Fate gives their audience an album that is quite striking, and how it will strike their audience is up in the air. It is heard as one moves from the top of the album to the very end that Escape the Fate is taking a more alternative almost punk type approach to the album compared to their characteristic metal sound. Yes, the band does include moments where their instrumentals sink in with heavy attacks paired with aggressive vocals that allude to the style that the fans are used to; however, the majority of the album sits in the clean vocal realm with simple instrumentation. In these moments, the band provides an overly catchy melodic line that will stick with audience members upon their first experience with the album, but again, it isn’t what fans are used to. The band, through each work, provides a groove that is slightly different than the one that it follows. This is strong for the band, for even if their new style may throw listeners off, one can’t help but vibe with the music that they are providing. Overall, I would give this album a 3.5 out of 5 stars. Again, this was a hard one to score because it fell on a fine line that was hard to choose which way it was leaning. To justify this score, this album is packed full with contrasting genres and memorable riffs, but when listening to the music taking away the name of the band, a lot of it sounds used and unoriginal, but it isn’t a bad album by any means, which is why this score was nailed down. Recommended Tracks: Digging My Own Grave, Do You Love Me?, Riot
*”I Am Human” was released on March 30, 2018 through Better Noise Records.