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    Crown the Empire - The Fallout ( 4 / 5 )


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    Favorite Bands : Red, Deathstars, Crown the Empire, Of Mice & Men, Mayday Parade, Black Veil Brides, The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus and Twelve Foot Ninja.
    Favorite Genre : Post-Hardcore

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    Post by Envy on Sun Jan 13, 2013 3:11 pm

    Theatrical nuances, soaring vocals and orchestral synth abound. Crown the Empire is one of Rise Record’s newest acquired bands, and right off the bat, expectations were high for this album due to the success and execution of their EP, “Limitless”, which was filled with colorful electronics, solid instrumentation and strong vocals. While the album does live up to the hype surrounding fans of their previous work, its flaws and its inherent generic nature keep it from unlocking the rest of its potential.

    Cast before us in the intro, “Oh Catastrophe” is Andy Leo’s impressive clean vocals with an eerie piano backdrop that leads into an orchestral drum roll before flying into its soaring conclusion that branches into the title track “The Fallout”. Throughout the album, similar orchestral themes are used to help boost the impact of each song, to great effect. The same synth loops aren’t repeated throughout the album like so many similar bands in the genre seem to do. Strong violin build ups such as in “The Menace”, are frequent and welcome. The piano makes or breaks an atmosphere, and fits in rather well, and is juxtaposed rather well with the synthetics, notably on the last track “Johnny’s Revenge” which gives a strong vibe of a wild circus along with the cello. Luckily, breakdowns are used tastefully and aren’t as boring as one would expect a band like this to create.

    The vocals are two of the strongest aspects of this album, however the delivery of the clean vocals steals the show. Andy’s voice is spot on with the music. It’s not airy, yet it’s not too gritty. It’s not deep, yet it’s not devoid of testosterone. Referencing “The Menace” again, his vocals have solid range and are absolutely fluid with melodic capability as he bellows a sequence of “ahs” in the pre-chorus. The harsh vocals are not particularly impressive, but they are strong enough to keep the pacing up and can match with the coarse sounding guitars quite well. However, his delivery sounds too similar to other harsh vocalists, and unfortunately he tends to use the same stutter effect that is quite common with groups in the genre. The only exception to this is his vocals on “Graveyard Souls”, in which his screams range from high to low and have unusually more depth than they do on the rest of the album. The lyricism is possibly the most inconsistent aspect of this album. While in some songs such as “Evidence”, the message is simple and to the point, in other songs such as the title track, they are more descriptive and paint a picture rather than convey an overall emotion. When they aren’t showcasing the above two points, they are cheesy and forgettable, such as in “Makeshift Chemistry”.

    The guitars are solid and fast, putting forth some catchy riffing while at the same time mixing well with the rest of the band. They rarely do anything overly exciting, but are hard hitting enough to provide some solid entertainment. They have a chunky, filling feeling to them as well. Occasionally there are moments in which they shine alone and steal the spotlight, such as in the intro of “Two’s Too Many.” Such moments however are brief, and any more would have not suited the album as well. The bass mostly just keeps with the pacing of the song to help boost the impact of the overall backdrop of each song, with one of the only noticeable bass solo’s being in the song “Graveyard Souls.” The drums are speedy and energetic, with some catchy fills here and some quick unsuspecting moments there, they push the rest of the instruments forward rather well, mentioning once again, “Graveyard Souls”.

    Like with every album, there are some downsides, the main downside being that even the best aspects of this album sound somewhat similar to other acts already in the genre. While they have started to embrace the theatrical style well, it still sounds too similar to other Post-Hardcore acts to really differentiate itself and that’s what holds it down. While the instrumentals are catchy, hard and tight, they tend to occasionally blend together bar the tasteful synth use. The most notable flaw would be the song “Memories of a Broken Heart”, with cheesy electronics, boring instrumentation and grating vocals.

    If Crown the Empire can let go of their generic aspects, and hone in on the theatrical aspect that they are starting to convey with this album, they could really create a memorable record. However for now, we have their excellent debut, and while it doesn’t break any records, it was executed quite well and provides for some solid entertainment.

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    Post by skeletorissatan on Sun Jan 13, 2013 3:14 pm

    another fucking good review bro

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    Post by AlaniIodine on Sun Jan 13, 2013 3:25 pm

    Good songs, for the most part. Although a few of them weren't really my thing. But a good overall album.

    "For there are no wrong paths...
    only adventures."

    Current Listen: Wretched and Divine

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