Reaper's Corner IV
by, Jan 12th, 2012 at 07:57 AM (606 Views)
[COLOR="#ADD8E6"]i have made it known in the past that i am a metal head. well one of my particular weaknesses is southern metal: it just sounds dirty, and groovy, and funky, and awesome. i love The Showdown, Twelve Gauge Valentine, Every Time I Die, and Maylene and the Sons of Disaster. Maylene and the Sons of Disaster have always been intriguing for their utilization of their deep southern roots in a very hardcore band, and as such have always stood out above the rest in my mind as the premier southern metal band. they also engage in a very odd naming convention for their albums. their first album was self titled, their second album was II, their third album was III, and now their fourth album is IV.
so the first review i did for maylene's boys was their album II, and i called it, and i quote "the best southern metal album i've ever listened to." III was great, just not as great as II, and while i had high hopes for IV, it sadly did not deliver. but let's start off with the good. so i fired up the album and the first thing i heard was a classic maylene riff: deep dirty south, groovy, fast. i did notice that the guitar was not as hard as in previous albums, it sounds more like a generic rock band than the traditional maylene metal. in the past, the guitar has always sounded sharp, defined, and guttural, but in IV their guitars sound much more toned down. then it got to the vocals and i noticed right off the bat that they sounded different as well, but not necesarrily in a bad way. bands that keep the same sound for too long become stagnant and stale, they lose their zing, so changing things up a bit is a good thing, it keeps them fresh. so the vocals were a bit different in the first song, but it was refreshing that there was a bit of variety. unfortunately, instead of just adding a new trick to the bag and still using the oldies but goodies, after the first song they dumped out the bag entirely and just used the new ones. the vocals shifted the spectrum almost completely, from the hard yelling/screaming, to a much softer singing. now their lead vox has a good voice, but it's not unique enough to make them stand out by singing. his yell/scream, however, was exactly that: it made them different from other rock bands. now there are definitely some songs where the new style works brilliantly, there are some definite keepers on this album, but the complete vocal change just doesn't work for me. and what's worse is that they trick you on some songs. Open Your Eyes starts off with that classic maylene sound i talked about earlier, and in previous albums they would've kept that intensity throughout the whole album, however here the pace just drops off. if you've ever listened to the band RED then you know what i'm talking about: the song starts hard, then drops in the verse picks up in the chorus, get's hard between the chorus and verse, then drops again. for a band that has been known for making songs that hit you like a freight train, this is very annoying. but i've done like all the bad and none of the good, which is exactly th opposite of what i wanted to do.
so the good. there is definitely some maylene classics to be had here. it may not be up to the same standards as previous work, but there are some definite gems here. while i'm not a huge fan of the new vocal style, i do like the new focus on vocals. in previous albums the vocals would sometimes fade into the background, but here they stand out nice and clear. then there are songs like Taking On Water, completely different from their standard fare on previous albums, but definitely one of the stars of the album. all of their albums have had ballads, but even among the other ballads Taking On Water sounds different, while the other ballads were somewhat forgetable ways to end an album, this is dropped smack in the middle, but it works. where as the other ballds were forgetable, this is one that you will be humming along to long after the album is finished. the most fun songs are definitely Killing Me Slow, Never Enough, and Cat's Walk. the best songs i would have to say are Taking On Water, In Dead We Dream, and Killing Me Slow.
ultimately, this is no II or even III, but it's still mad decent. where i gave II a 10/10 and III a 9/10 i have to give this a 8/10. it's good, but not great. pick it up boys.
here is one of the best songs from II
here is taking on water
and here is cat's walk
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