Song review: Dead Angels
Band: Calling of Verona (NOT Buried in Verona)
Date of Release: 3rd January, 2014
Genre: Melodic Metalcore
Ok, well from the moment I listened to this song, I didn’t really get into it. I just found it so mediocre that it failed to pique any sort of real interest in me. For the sake of fairness, however, I will try to be as neutral as possible whilst reviewing this. This is typical 3 chord metalcore. I don’t really need to say much more for you to get a rough idea of what this will sound like, but I’ll try my best…
To start us off, “Dead Angels” has a decent song structure, mainly due to the fact that there’s a nice amount of different sections, ranging from heavy, melodic, fast and ambient throughout it. These span the three and a half minute track and serve to prevent the song from getting too boring, which I believe they achieve to a degree. I say this because even from the first time I listened to this song, I failed to be overly impressed or surprised by any of these parts, they’re all just too plain to really stand out and stick with me. Nothing gets repeated too much during this song, which definitely works in its favour, but there’s just nothing that really makes you want to listen to it over and over again.
Musically, there’s not a lot of complexity to this song. Almost everything is played in a fairly simple and generic way. As I’ve stated in the past, this isn’t necessarily a problem, so long as the riffs/beats/rhythms are catchy enough to compensate for their simplicity. In this case, they aren’t. The guitars are a prime example of this, they play basic riffs for the duration of the song, even in the faster section where I get the distinct feeling that they’re not meant to be. The only minor exception to this are in the parts where the lead guitar plays the short solo-esque parts, these definitely added to the song, but not too much. The bass follows the root notes for the most part, as far as I made out, which is a solid, albeit slightly boring method. The fact that the bass was audible was a bonus, at least, although it was a little hard to hear it at some points. The drums are enjoyable to an extent. For the majority of the song they pretty much just hold the rhythms in a solid way, but there are a bunch of fills strewn through the song. The fills aren’t amazing, but the variation from straight beats was refreshing. The only major thing holding back the drums is that they’re programmed. I know it’s hard to get a good sound whilst recording drums, but the end result will almost always sound better than programmed drums. You have a drummer, guys, use him. I found the vocals to be a bit of a mixed bag. On one hand, the harsh vocals were very generic, and they have that amateur sound to them that you notice in an instant when listening to them. I’m sure that there are some people out there who will dig them, but I certainly didn’t. On the other hand, I did actually like the cleans in the chorus. Sure, there’s not a lot of range to them, and they only make a brief appearance for the duration of “Dead Angels”, but I didn’t mind them, not to mention they didn’t sound like a 13 year old boy whining into a microphone, which is what I was half expecting. Finally, I found the lyrics to be solid. They’re not too generic, but I feel that they lack any sort of personality or unique qualities as well. There’s also no real hook for people to really hold onto in their minds after coming away from this song. Overall, the instrumentation is pretty standard of what you would expect a typical melodic metalcore song to be.
The production quality of “Dead Angels” is, like most of this song, average at best. Everything sounds… OK… There’s not a lot more to say about it, outside of that. Nothing sounds amazing, but it’s far from the worst thing that I’ve heard. The biggest problem that I noticed is that the vocals aren’t really mixed as well as they should be. Some of the harsh vocals are quieter than others for seemingly no reason. Also, in the chorus, the cleans are a lot louder than the harsh vocals in the rest of the song. There’s nothing in the production that makes the song annoying or painful to listen to, but it could have been considerably better than it was.
This song is a typical melodic metalcore song, so I’m guessing that some scene kids or metalcore fans looking for some new material might really get into it. Me, on the other hand, I hear some of fans of other metalcore bands playing their own, only slightly different songs that are fairly generic. On top of this, I just couldn’t hear any attempt at any sort of unique sounds or traits. Because of this, there is no way these guys can break new ground or be thought of as more than average by most people. In the future, rather than just following what others have already done a million times over, try and be a bit more unique. Best of luck.
Vocals: Screams: 3.5/10 Cleans: 6.5/10
Overall IPHYB Rating: 5/10
Personal Enjoyment Factor: 2.5/10
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