Release DetailsLABEL Crash Music
RELEASED ON 4/22/2003
Single Bullet Theory
posted on 6/2003 By:
My first and only experience with Single Bullet Theory was seeing them open up for Hypocrisy and Soilwork a year ago, but I remember that I was pretty impressed with the way they mixed up different styles of metal. In short, they were more entertaining than many of the openers I've seen in my time. So it was with curiosity that I approached this new album of theirs, Route 666. The end result is a pretty decent hybrid of an album, that touches on traditional, power, hardcore, and some thrash metal. This mixing has been attempted by other bands with varied results. Route 666 is a bit more experimental than Shadows Fall, but not as progressive as a band like Into Eternity. Also as is expected when mixing together different styles, some songs are more coherent, and thus, more successful than others.
The vocals are very similar to those from Into Eternity, as they bounce from one vocal tone to another: from screams, to growls, to straight singing, to a power metal croon. He gets carried away too often though, going off on a vocal tirade where the music doesn't quite call for one, but that's forgivable. Musically, Single Bullet Theory is pretty chunky when not ripping off a little solo. The guitars are distorted, but not to the point of being buzzsaw-like. Drumming is tight and the kicks get quite a workout. The production is clear with some punchy bass, but puts the drums a little too far up front in some instances.
The opening song, Murder Machines, is one of the strongest of the album. The verse riff gallops along, accentuated by some Death-like note progressions. Next up is Spit, another fine song that brings to mind the sound of the Boston metalcore scene. You know, some shouting over a heavy Gothenburg riff. Imperfect Fit nicely blends clean and dirty singing over some groovy breakdown riffs, while the title track is a real mosher. On the other hand, some tracks like Revamp/Rebuild see SBT trying out too many ideas without linking them together well enough. Looking at the album as a whole, it's pretty clear that Single Bullet Theory has the potential to be an upper-tier band and with a little more experience under their belts, hopefully the wrinkles can be ironed out. There's plenty of strong material here, and even the lesser songs aren't awful, just uninteresting and incoherent. It's worth a look by fans of the modern metal sound.
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