Release DetailsLABEL Spinefarm
RELEASED ON 2/7/2007
posted on 3/2007 By:
There was a time in my more musically ignorant younger years when I listened almost exclusively to Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Alice in Chains and Soundgarden. It wasn't necessarily that I didn't like metal. I simply hadn't had a proper introduction. I liked more metallic rock, but there had to be real punch and emotion. If April had released Tidelines when I was 11 or 12, I would have been all over this.
No, this isn't grunge, but it does combine emotion and grit in a similar fashion. Though the group is difficult to categorize, April is best described as alt rock with a metallic edge. That edge is derived mostly from the riffs, which are way too crunchy to be anything but metallic. The vocals are clean, with Hakim Hietikko belting out at all kinds of pitches with mixed results. When the acoustic guitar sets in he sings slightly softer and, unfortunately, it exposes a few weaknesses. He's best when guitarists "Machinegun" (no, I didn't make that up) and "J. Fatal" are at full force, whipping up a decent flurry of melodic mayhem.
The more aggressive tracks, like "Time is Up" and "Soul of Elimination," are the group's gems. "Soul of Elimination" boasts a surprising amount of vocal hooks, Hietikko singing and snarling with equal success. "Time is Up" is probably the most metallic of the 10 songs offered on these Finns' debut. The opening riff actually reminded me of Trivium. Again, Hietikko balances both the clean and snarling vocals to perfection. The chorus isn't as catchy as the one found on "Soul of Elimination," but the song is slightly more progressive and, ultimately, interesting. No one could ever accuse these guys of weak songwriting.
April seems to be at their best when they serve as a less annoying (i.e. no jacked up vocals) and more instrumentally talented Hawthorne Heights. There's a fervor in their sound that hints at a strong potential for growth when they're playing at full throttle. The more progressive songs like album closer "Fading," with the piano and strings deal, don't work nearly as well in conveying honest emotion because they sound so forced in comparison. Maturity will come in time and I am sure the guys in April will have a better command of their definitive sound on their follow-up. Until then, Tidelines is a strong but unnecessary addition to the metallic alt rock resurgence.
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