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Whining. - 20%

caspian, December 14th, 2008

"But I'm afraid of the way that I'm feeling;
Afraid of this new understanding now;
Afraid for the beauty within me,
And that which I hold within my hand. "

I definitely liken this album to sitting in your best friend's bedroom as a 13 year old, forced to listen as he proceeds to pour his heart out about Wendy Syphilis or whatever his latest crush is. That's pretty exactly what this is, just stretched out for an hour.

Honestly, I find this album and it's fanbase pretty amusing and ironic; doubtless the fans are quick to mock Fall out Boy/My Chemical Romance and all those other emo bands. This is some heavy, despair filled stuff, y'know. Shit is deep. Draining and depressing. Or.... perhaps it's not, and perhaps this is just a slow, listless record that's full of incessant emo-like whining (Pete Wentz and co are no doubt pretty envious right now).

It's kinda of like a slowed down Agalloch, for a number of reasons. First, it's ridiculously accessible. Slow, granted, but heavy? Nope. It's kind of like a slower MDB minus any sort of genuine songwriting skill (and with a painfully average frontman). Graceful, glacial, perhaps, but incredibly melodic and hardly different from any slow, depressive rock album. There's no tension built up in the riffs, and while you could suggest that they're somewhat depressing, that's pretty much nothing special at all. Get a minor scale, play some minor chords and you're already there.

It's also like Agalloch in the vocals department; not so much in the lyrical department (seeing as the Agalloch guy does know his way around a verse or two) but certainly in the "this guy is a terrible singer and is incredibly overrated" department. Back to the emo comparisons; anyone who likes this is prohibited from calling any other singer "whiny" ever, ever again. Sure, a singer certainly doesn't need to have a powerful Dio style voice or some big guttural thing, no, not at all. But this is really genuinely whiny, lacking any sort of range and terrible in it's self pity and overall badness. Nothing wrong with emotion, everything wrong with melodrama. Aaron from MDB is a pretty good example of someone who can do this sort of stuff with finesse and subtletly; brilliant lyrical wordsmithery, dynamics, the ability to just shut the hell up sometimes. Mr.Cockgobbling Warning-Frontman just lays on the "13 year old who broke up with his crush" with an alarming amount of thickness; it's like jam that was cooked for too long and then left in the freezer.

One way that this isn't like Agalloch is that Agalloch, despite doing a somewhat similar kind of dark-radio rock thing mix the tempos up. There's faster, "heavier" tunes by them, real slow builds, catchy sort of things, slow dirges. Warning lapse into a slow, comfortable tempo and riffing pattern, and proceed to stick at that exact same tempo and riffing style for the entire album. it's not incredibly slow (to make it too slow would be to make it inaccessible for some people, after all) but ruthlessly lethargic. There's not one mid paced moment, not one moment that's slower then the usual stuff, just constant trudging along at a ruthlessly boring pace. Songs blend into each other constantly. Riffs? Good guitar ideas? Nope! A lot of unremarkable, very cliched doom riffs that don't compel you to do, well, anything. It could almost be this hypnotic thing if it wasn't so damn boring.

This is a horrible record- albeit a good marketing move by the band, this'll sell like hotcakes- and you'd be well advised to avoid it. Incredibly boring, cliched, limp guitars, a singer who is possibly the most irritating you've ever heard; overall it's just a really, really bad attempt at being all gloomy and deep. Tell you what, go out and buy a My Chemical Romance album instead. The music's catchier, lyrics are about similar things, and not even Gerald whatever his name is is as irritating as the frontman here. Plus, the songs are shorter!