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Boring - 47%

jontayl, June 5th, 2017

There's nothing wrong with this album in the traditional sense. Final Stage makes no glaring mistakes in instrumentation, the mixing is fine, the drums are tuned in key, et cetera, et cetera.

The album is just boring. It's not special in any way whatsoever. If I were in charge choosing a metal album to play as ambient noise in a mall, or maybe as easy listening music in an elevator, then Game Over would be my emphatic first choice. But good metal music should never be confused for elevator music, and that's my central grievance with this album. The lyrics are close to meaningless, the guitar riffs–power chords played on repeat–could be executed by a child, the drums are ridiculously unvaried and monochromic, and the singing is vapid when unaccompanied by any meaningful or substantive melodic timbre.

With all this said, there are a number of positives. For instance, lead singer Brandon Wright has nearly impeccable pitch control, and the guitar tone has a heavy but approachable atmosphere (probably because of the minimal distortion at the high end, but full-on effects in the mid range). But tone and pitch control, impressive though they may be, don't make up for lifeless basslines and uninspired drumming. Even if one were to admit that some of the choruses are catchy (As The Empire Falls, to be more specific, is as sing-along worthy as Bon Jovi or Metallica), there's just not enough there.

The bottom line is that there are worse albums out there. But there are very few albums more generic and less unique. 47/100.