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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'.