This album art is pretty cool, but I don’t know, something about it strikes me as pretentious.

This band is a bit crazy.

Yes. This band is a bit crazy. I realized that once I had listened to this album; and the first track for that matter. They’re something between hardcore punk and metal: with shredding guitar throughout, fast tempo riffs, prevalent drums and a raving lunatic screaming like a mad man over the top of it all. From the perspective from a person who hasn’t been numbed to the sort of madness that is Feed the Rhino, it probably sounds like a mental mash-up of sounds. But I like it.

There is method to their madness, though, as, to me at least, sounds great. Everything is co-ordinated, and all the band members seem to be knowing exactly what to do and exactly how to do it: as every instrument is played with incredible skill, and there is no shortness of coherence in the music. The only way I can describe the music on The Sorrow and the Sound is that it is very high tempo, very high energy and very bassy hardcore punk/crazy metal, with extra influence from indie rock and bands like Deftones.

The guitarist is absolutely fantastic throughout, with skilled guitar solos and fast tempo and knee-thumpingly heavy power chord thrash riffs; and in some songs on the album steals the show. The drumming is prevalent and with lots of back pedaling, and carries the mad rhythm of it all. The bass is prominent throughout, and gives what would be mad punky stuff power to make it that much more enjoyable to listen to. And, finally, the singer is a crazy man: he screams. Or maybe he shouts? Whatever he does, it makes him sound very angry about what he’s singing about. He gives the music an aggressive edge, and gives it an extra punk-y feel; but I don’t know how much I like his voice, as he sounds a bit too mad, and could very well put people off listening to the band. But I suppose he’s decent and some moments in songs wouldn’t be the same without him; and he does do some clean singing. When he does clean singing the music is given a little more of a mopey feel, and sometimes makes you feel like you are an emo when your listening to him; but it gives you a break from his crazy voice and his clean singing can work very well when it’s played alongside his crazy voice, making it sound a bit like Deftones (just to give people a reference), and I like that sound. So his voice isn’t amazing, but it doesn’t really make the music any worse, and like I said, it gives the music a needed aggressive edge.

As you may know, I think that a good start for an album is very important; and The Sorrow and the Sound has a brilliant start, New Wave. It’s an aggressive, punky, atmospheric and crazy track: and it makes for a great listen. It has fantastic guitar work and an especially good guitar solo, and it can be pretty catchy as well. So, yeah, it’s a pretty damn good song.

The second track, Give Up, though, is probably the weakest track on the album, with simple melodies and a very weak chorus with the singing within it too low in the mix. It’s a song that doesn’t quite make the impact that it wants to. But, even if it is my least favourite on the album, it’s still got a 5 star rating on media player and has some great moments; so, you know, it’s not exactly bad.

The other more notable tracks for me are tracks 7,8 and 9. Tracks 7 and 8, Set Sail for Treason and Deny and Offend, are my favourite tracks on the album, and are the ones that deliver the most punch, if you know what I mean. Set Sail for Treason is the heaviest on the album, I’d say, and has the coolest moments on the whole album, with one of the only breakdowns on the album coming as a very nice surprise and being incredibly awesome. Deny and Offend opens with a fantastic bass riff and gets into a mad frenzy, with a catchy chorus turning up every now and then; and I love it. It’s a fantastic song which is very hard hitting, and has stuck itself in my head as one of my favourite metal songs I’ve heard.

Track 7, The Sorrow and the Sound, is the big, cool, atmospheric song on the album. It’s got a thick texture and has the characteristics of classic British prog rock, and it’s slower pace than most of the other songs: focusing more on the Deftones style. It’s a great song and demonstrates how good it sounds when the singer transitions between screaming/shouting vocals and clean vocals, and the mixture of the two.

Not every song on the album is brilliant, though, Give Up is a weaker song, Finish the Game isn’t as good and Black Horse just isn’t as hard hitting as the other songs, and so I don’t like it as much. But no song is at all bad, and there are a few songs on the album which I absolutely love, and it’s an album, when every song is put together, that is both a very good listen and impressive. And not much other bands have the energy that these guys do. Also, it is for the most part recorded and mixed fantastically, other than at a few stumbling moments and with the treble being ever so slightly too high in the mix. But not a lot of other metal albums are recorded as well as this one.

Verdict:

The Sorrow and the Sound is an impressive album by an ambitious and energetic young band, with shredding guitar and great bass work with an especially aggressive singer, being mad hardcore punk at the best I’ve heard it. However, it’s a bit inconsistent and has its fair share of flaws; but it has so much redeeming factors that it is a great album regardless, and with a song as good as Deny and Offend on it, it’s got to be good. And it is.

Flawed? Maybe a bit. But it’s a very enjoyable listen that’ll keep you moshing until you can’t anymore.

So I give it: 81/100.

– Speedy.

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