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Goddammit, guys... - 40%

Zelkiiro, June 5th, 2017
Written based on this version: 2017, Digital, Frontiers Records (Amazon)

This won't take long at all--Echoes of the Aftermath is a dull, dull album. The fact that this is a sequel album to Beth Out of Hell left me hopeful that there'd be some exciting, dynamic tracks present, but nope. Its title is a lot more appropriate than they probably realized when finalizing it, as this album is soft and weak and completely lacking the band's characteristic bombast, like ineffectual echoes bouncing off padded walls.

The Good:
As usual, the actual sound quality is immaculate, which is a good thing for a pop-metal album. Angelica's vocals are as great as ever, which is always nice. "Shining After Dark" and "Inside, Outside" are pretty damn stellar ballads that combine soulful moodiness and top-shelf melodic hooks that are invaluable for such tracks. On both of those tracks, the keyboards are absolutely on-point, as well.

The Crippling Boredom:
Bwwwwuuuuuugggggggghhhhhhh. Just like with Bye Bye Lullaby, the vast majority of this album is flavorless musical sludge. I can tell you literally nothing about any other song, and I just listened to this album today! I don't remember any track being particularly fast or even remotely uptempo, and the entire first half of the album is straight-up gone from my memory. It's just gone, man. There's nothing to any of these other songs at all. Beth Out of Hell had several great songs all throughout its runtime, several of them being more uptempo, and even the bad songs on that album had memorable qualities to them, but this? These songs are the musical equivalent of empty calories--sure, you consumed something, but you can't for the life of you remember what you just ate, and you're still hungry, to boot. Sure, I can technically say that none of the other songs on this album were bad--that would actually be somewhat memorable!--and so it's technically a better body of work than Bye Bye Lullaby, but there's just nothing else to recommend.

The Verdict:
Just skip it. The only worthwhile songs are the two aforementioned ballads, and unless you're some kind of ballad-hound, that's not exactly a compelling reason to check out an album. This is just one of the dullest albums around, scoring points based solely on the fact that those ballads are quite nice and the album doesn't sound like it was recorded in a meat-packing plant. Not even fans of the genre should bother with this. Empty calories, guys.