without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
Still Remains continues to remain a metalcore beast among the few bands who can actually play metalcore properly. The metalcore genre has continuously been flooded by repetitive emo-core wussies and bands similar to that, it is therefore highly misleading to any listener of music to compare Of Love And Lunacy to most metalcore releases. This is not the same whiney scene shit that most –core bands play, so if you’re a Design the Skyline fan or something like that – consider leaving this band alone.
Of Love And Lunacy offers us a frenzy of metallic intelligence grafted with considerably respectable doses of hardcore, encapsulated with interesting atmospheric sound-effects which converge into a metalcore masterpiece. This album offers us no uninteresting vocal utilization or any other uninteresting instrumental elements, it is brilliant and at times progressive. This album starts off with “To Live And Die By Fire,” which begins with drumming immediately followed by seriously breath-taking guitar riffs that sets off a bad-ass tone, complemented by the interesting psychedelic keyboarding. The lyrics of this song are fairly simplistic, but it offers us an overwhelmingly complex implication heard in the vocalist’s voice, “We've burned this city and it's coming down. Pack your bags, we leave at dawn.” The vocalist drives himself in the frenzy of the complex atmosphere created, with death growling and hardcore groans. This just made me excited, and well I thought to myself “Metalcore? Wow.” The other notable songs include "Bliss" and "Recovery," which are carefully written to form of a very progressive blend of Shadow's Fall and Nightrage, and on some places resemble the instrumentals of Haste the Day. The break-downs don't annoy the crud of you to the point of boredom, but is equally panned out and blends in with the rest of the album's musical content.
“I Can Revive Him with My Own Hands” is in my opinion the highlight of this album, it contains the entire album’s flavour. It opens up with a serious guitar riff, and eventually the vocalist growls some pretty sick lyrics: “if love was a door, I've slammed it in your face, ran out to the balcony, and jumped to the ground, I've sponged the place in gasoline, before igniting the foundation.” Considering the fact that I’ve listened to other metalcore bands such as Killswitch Engage, their lyrics are completely boring compared to this. In fact the maturity presented in this song’s lyrics makes any other metalcore band’s lyrics sound like kiddies rock. The guitars continue to capture your attention. The continuity of the album is filled with some sick and brilliant drumming, with the vocalist continuing to articulate some hardcore metal maturity “if love was a child, then I've scolded him to no end, he's been filled with nothing inside, until the day when bullets filled the emptiness inside him, from his own gun, from his own hands.” Those lyrics sent shivers down my spine, and it set the record straight – whatever was to continue was to capture some serious emotion and it did. “I can revive him with my own two hands” is growled alongside some sick back-up hardcore groans, ending off this song with a notable bang.
This whole album was filled with intense emotion, metallic causticity, and brilliant musicianship. All of the songs on the album flow from each other, each song is not isolated or anything like that. They closely resemble the original flavour of the album, however it plays out with uniqueness in each track, emphatic of the artistic luminosity presented throughout this album. The riffs are carefully grafted in a setting which is governed by time-perfected drumming, and momentous synthesizing of the keyboard. The cleans in this album is within itself very memorable, and definitely mesmerizing. This is recommended for any fan of interesting and brilliant music.
What? A unique Metalcore album in this day and age? Yes, and on Roadrunner no less. The sky must be falling.
Quite apparent out of the box is Still Remains best skill above all, is their song writing skills: The songs here are damn catchy and filled with hooks, which suprisingly aren't limited to verse-chorus-verse, so expect some variation. Their sound is pretty varied, taking the keys of Soilwork and Dark Tranquillity and blending it with the gutiar licks of In Flames and Killswitch Engage, which some very nice clean vocals. Most people rag on Metalcore for it's overuse of breakdowns, while Still Remains do breakdown at times, they keep it to a minimum.
Like a lot of newer bands, Still Remains features a dual-vocal attack as opposed to the convential one vocalist doing it all. Most of the time, you'll hear gritty, low growls and screams which sound quite more harsh than most Metalcore acts. The guitars are this albums gem, the lead work is totally dynamic and catchy; the leads and riffs here will stick in your head long after the album has been turned off, very catchy. The drums are pretty well played, great double kick and cymbal work. This band has the goods, they have talent in their playing and they can write catchy, attention grabbing songs.
The first four songs are great, flying, melodic and catchy. The lead on 'White Walls' is really special, and combined with a great chorus makes it the albums highlight in my opinion. The strangest track on this album is without a doubt 'Recovery' which is just so completely over the top that it works. The song features corny lyrics, overly dramatic keys, and high clean vocals for the chorus. Don't expect to like this one right off the bat. The following track features really great gang vocals, but not in hXc style, but in a brutal "I'll rip off your face!' style.
I would highly recommend this, to Metalheads, Hardcore kids and Emo kids alike. it's extremely diverse and dynamic.A perfect album to give to naysayers who say Metalcore is all the same, this album will give them something to think about. Awesome. Definetly in my top 5 for 2005 and I don't see it moving.
Recomended Listening: 'To Live and Die By Fire' 'The Worse is Yet to Come' 'White Walls' 'Stare and Wonder'.