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Dead By April - 'Dead By April' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/original/80/8a/ae/213_Deadbyapril2009_1268839037.jpg Hot

Added by James Gaden     March 17, 2010    
 
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Metal / melodic rock fusion from Swedish act.

 

Generally speaking I have a lot of time for Spinefarm Records, the Finnish label has introduced me to so many great bands, usually with great musicianship and more than a touch of originality. Dead By April are Swedish and were formed in Gothenburg back in 2007 when vocalist Jimmie Strimell of Nightrage was looking for an outlet for the more melodic stuff he was writing. Hooking up with guitarist Pontus Hjelm the pair recorded a couple of songs and put them up on Myspace, at which point the accolades, offers of live work and ultimately a deal with Universal all started to happen. Swelling to a full 5 piece and setting out to play just about everywhere, including at least 3 visits to the UK in the last 6 months, Dead By April are beginning to take off as we speak.

Produced by Henrik Edenhed, a man usually more associated with indie pop than metal, the debut album sounds like a million dollars, but unfortunately their musical style does very little for me. It may sound like a good idea to have heavy guitar riffs and screamo vocals on the verses, then a complete switch to tuneful melodies and clean vocals in the choruses, and sometimes, like on the singles ‘Angels Of Clarity’ and especially ‘Losing You’, it works a treat. Unfortunately just about every song on the album follows the same path, with only ‘Stronger’ and ‘Promise Me’ raising their heads above the average.

Sometimes it all sounds a little bit contrived with the melodic choruses being far too sugary for the bravado and bluster that went before, and whilst the fuss that surrounds them suggests that they’ll make a splash – especially in their native Sweden where ‘Losing You’ got to #1 – I’m afraid they’re just not for me. Indiviually the songs sound OK to good, but I’ve yet to manage to play the album all the way through at one sitting, which to me says it all.

Phil Ashcroft

 

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