Release DetailsLABEL Ironbound Recordings
RELEASED ON 4/5/2005
Strength In Numbers
posted on 5/2005 By:
The staff at MetalReview.com wishes to apologize for the following review. We here are committed to bringing you the finest metal available and according to our mission statement “steer you to the finest metal available”. However, due to circumstances beyond our control, we are unable to perpetually review Marduk and Carcass albums, and so occasionally we are forced to review an album performed by normal people that do not haunt graveyards or castle ruins with make up on. As a result, myself (and other reviewers) sometimes have to give our objective opinion on a ‘not so metal’ album, in the off chance an open minded person may stumble across this site looking for a well written album review of a CD they might actually be able to buy without traveling to Norway. Yes that includes malls. So in the spirit of adventurous freedom of speech and impartial writing, fully aware of the impending lash assault, I give you Strength In Numbers:
I like metalcore. I love it in fact. But I’m fully aware of its leprous condition with metal fans. The thing is, even I recognize the saturation and commercialization of the genre. For Every Shai Hulud, By Night, Hamartia, LOSA and With Honor, there are 100’s of Tears From The Sky’s, Fallen Angel’s, With or Without You’s, Bleed The Sky’s and countless others. Well, add New Jersey’s Strength In Numbers to that list of pointless but energetic wannabes that have cleverly seen the growth of metalcore and given it a horrific commercial gloss.
Imagine Avenged Sevenfold mixed with Atreyu and pop’core of the likes of The Black Maria, Linkin’ Park, Hand to Hand, Taking Back Sunday, etc. Makes you squeamish doesn’t it? To be absolutely honest, at times SIN’s sound is perfectly delivered for today’s musical climate, and I take my hat off to them for finding the perfect dollar making mix of driving competent metalcore and emo tinged anthemics-it will sell at Hot Topic and get them on Ozzfest, but on a purely musical level, this is shallow, empty and heartless.
When just doing the melodic metalcore thing like “The Awakening”, “Eight”, “Devoured by the Bridges Aflame” and “Unfolds”, SIN mildly entertain me with their thrashy metalcore assault, but all too often, they circumvent the metal aspect of their sound with a tepid, fuzzy sheen of commercial sickness. Opener “Gods of War” suffers this unfortunate fate and sets the tone early after a promising opening stanza and some entertaining solos. The same can be said for “Eight” with its tantalizing opening that soon cascades into a poppy, sickening lighter waving chorus that would make Avenged Sevenfold fans chuckle in mockery. It’s actually a shame so many of the songs degenerate into faux pop-core as tracks like “Frostbite” and ‘Reach to Die” have some aggravatingly nice guitar work, before they just come undone with a sort of nu metal/thrash/rap metal hybrid that’s just awkward and unwieldy.
The Eric Rachael production is the weakest I’ve heard from Trax East but it’s garnered towards a far more commercial audience. The thing is, I can see this band being the next big thing because of their crossover appeal to true metalcore fans and the Linkin’ Park gleaned fans wanting to explore ‘harder’ musical realms. I can’t fault the band's skill and mainstream appeal, but personally this is just bubblegum core to me.
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