Sunday, August 13, 2006

Album Review: With Passion - In The Midst Of Bloodied Soil

Still worried about the amount of melodic metalcore out there? I have a feeling this problem will right itself over time.

On their debut release, With Passion provides us with yes, more melodic metalcore. The variations they put on it offer an entertaining ride while you’re there. One major variation you’ll notice is the use of keyboards. While Children Of Bodom may have popularized the use flowing keyboard runs, most North American bands use them in a much simpler fashion, like simply doing chords. With Passion seems to make some different use with their keyboards when compared to similar North American melodic metalcore bands. The keyboards are used off and on rather than all the time. When they are used, they’ll often sound like other instruments, such as piano, which makes it very nice to hear a decent piano run in the middle of a song.

Other musical aspects with melodic metalcore also include the breakdown. The breakdowns of the “chugga” variety are rarely used, and are often hidden below the melodic and often harmonized guitars, run instead by the drums. This really keeps the breakdowns buried underneath the song, which makes for something that’s made to listen too, while at the same time can also work in a live environment. The drums also provide a break to the typical metalcore fare, offering the famed blast beat every now and then, and on the rare occasion some super fast moments, which for a brief time offer an attempt to rival some of those ultra fast death metal drummers. It’s too bad they don’t feature more of those super-fast drum moments.

All the melodies and harmonies on tap don’t all sound ripped off from Gothenburg, indeed, the statement of video games influencing the music come through, with certain points being akin to something you might hear in a Final Fantasy game. The vocals are another vantage towards difference. The vocalist provides a high rasp, similar to something you’d hear in a black metal band.

Sadly all the variations put on melodic metalcore to mutate it into a slightly different beast don’t add up to monumental results. The scale runs made by the guitarists sound as if they’re attempting to play beyond their ability, as well as create some strange time signatures the drummer has a hard time playing in time with. The eight songs in thirty three minutes seems a slight bit short, and may not be enough with two of the songs being instrumental keyboard breaks. That’s not to say the breaks don’t fit, but one more song would help to give the album a much more whole perspective. Certain songs are much catchier compared to the rest of the other songs as well, although the amount of conviction pouring off helps to make up for the filler.

Those who find the traits that culminate within the confines of “In The Midst Of Bloodied Soil” both interesting and compelling are encouraged to give it a try. Those people who feel they already have their fair share of melodic metalcore can be advised that this isn’t a must have.

With Passion could be said to be one of those bands to watch out for. Their next album will most likely step up the level of skill and levels of production, hopefully they’ll be able to perfect what they have on their next album.


With Passion
Earache Records


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