The Human, The Canvas
posted on 6/2010 By:
First impressions are a bitch, especially when you’re a member of a band playing a decidedly out-of-favor genre of metal and donning a Killswitch Engage shirt in the supersized photo decorating your homepage. With folded arms. And an indifferent stare. Total time warp.
Society’s Plague are a metalcore sextet from Kentucky who apparently loathe using last names in bios, feature a female keyboardist and aren’t afraid to post a few jailbait fan pics on their MySpace page. Like first impressions, thorough research can also be a bitch. You can probably guess the makeup of their sound, as well; harsh vocals alternate with clean choruses, melodic keyboard arrangements follow chugging riffs and there’s that familiar bounce we’ve all come to associate with that sometimes bastard metallic hardcore lovechild.
To be fair, Society’s Plague are not particularly bad at what they do. Considering how young they all look, their professional sound, strong grasp of songwriting and sense of melody is actually quite striking at times. The vocalist, Matt, is as solid with the harsh vocals as he is with the clean ones, though the latter tend to be a bit too sugary sweet. Unfortunately, the same could be said of the lyrics. You will hear a lot of simple condemnations (“you’re a fool”) and commands (“open your eyes”) in the choruses. It’s almost as if the band followed a Metalcore Made Simple handbook. If the talent weren’t there it would be less frustrating.
If anything stands out about The Human, The Canvas it has to be 1) how damn catchy some of its songs prove to be after a few listens and 2) how seamlessly the band incorporates the keyboardist, Kate. Rather than have her play a small role, where she’s limited to sprinkling some bits here and there into every song, she seems to have played an active part in constructing some of these tracks. Not only does she help build tension working toward most choruses, she also gives a few songs their identity. Some of the more memorable songs like “Transcend the Throne,” “The Few and the Fallen” and the title track benefit the most from her strong presence.
With an ear for catchiness and good songwriting IQ, Society’s Plague show promise and hint at greater things to come on their debut. While far too by-the-book for the more experienced listener, fans of bands like Sonic Syndicate and Killswitch will find at least something to like here (guitar crunch, decent clean vocals, hummable songs), although the formulaic nature of much of its material will probably register as a negative for those people as well.
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