The Artificial Truth
posted on 3/2010 By:
Anymore, a metalcore review is like showing up at a killer party with bad weed, shitty beer, a Rick Astley CD and the loud annoying girl with the cold sore and menstrual smell no one likes. That’s to say, it's a bit of a buzzkill. Except in this case, instead of the loud annoying girl, I brought the foreign exchange student from Turkey. Her grasp of the English language (like my thin allegory for metalcore) is minimal, but she was trained in the best Orange County Schools, tries hard and wants to please everyone, and secretly, everyone wants to nail her.
I’ve heard far worse metalcore than this, and Turkey's Since Yesterday does have some very nice Misery Signals-ish melodies surfacing here and there amid the fairly rudimentary Killswitch Engage Eurocore. It’s like the band has unearthed all the decent early commercial metalcore from the late '90s and early '00s, like the first Poison the Well and Unearth albums, but added a bit more commercial appeal.
However, the weak link is vocalist Mansur Asrar who doesn’t really have a commanding bark/scream but he has a unique almost Serj Tankian croon that grew on me, but might turn off some folks. Luckily, guitarists Burak Kilic and Cem Saydam more than make up for any vocal shortcomings, with some sumptuous melodies and noodling lacing the expected hardcore based chugging. After a relatively standard but enjoyable openers “The Aftermath” and “It Always Feels Good to Remove Scabs”, Since Yesterday starts to really catch my ear with the excellent third track, "Episode Two (Worse Case Scenario),” where the guitarists deliver some truly excellent, deft harmonies and solo work that combines with some rousing vocals and gang chants and even a brief blast beat to make for one of the more memorable metalcore tracks I’ve heard in the last few years. (Folks, that’s quite a bit of metalcore). “Tales of Redemption” continues the strong guitar work and Serj Tankian clean vocals. The band's first single, “Hey, Sleepwalker” is a high octane galloper with a nice melodic bridge in the chorus. Then both “Dead Today” and “Sinatra Doctrine” deliver somber semi-ballads that almost bring the album to a grinding halt, but surprisingly Asrar carries both tunes with emotion and vocals that are different from the usual metalcore wailing. (It's within these songs that the clean vocals started to grow on me).
Shame Guilt, Fear, Denial” gets the energy levels back up using some clichéd but very enjoyable arpeggios (which I’m a sucker for), and closer “The Fall” is a perfect end-note with a superb closing minute. In all, a surprisingly solid, well-produced metalcore release that has some freshness and energy about it, free from some of the geographical trend-whoring and scene-posturing that plague the US scene.
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