Although New Jersey doesn’t seem the typical home for American Metalcore its fruits have an approach, flavor, and style that prove consistent with Midwestern and Californian offerings. RANDALL FLAGG’s “Warning: Contains Audio” fits the mold with eleven tracks that provide the normal 50/50 factor (50% that interests me, 50% that does not) that I hear on similar releases, although some moments hold a polished fervor that other albums lack.
Musically the bass and guitar lines on this release fall second to tight drum rolls and syncopations. The tempo seems in constant shift although the time signatures remain straight-forward, and at times that monotonous crowd-motivating bounce beat comes into play to remind us for sure that we have ventured into Metalcore territory. The drummer on occasion drifts into some laudable double bass efforts, but the Metalcore stylings prove too strong for most listeners outside of the states (and outside of the genre).
The CD has a few patches worthy of study. “Lightning Of Gods” uses crisp distortion to enhance its precise rhythmic picking and an overall clean recording allows the riffs on this release to meld into some rather substantial tracks. The vocals border on the tolerable end of the Metalcore spectrum, but let’s not get too heavy into praise just yet. “Walter” has a nice mainstream riff in its introduction that sums up the trouble with this release quite well: “Warning: Contains Audio” exceeds when delivering pop through a heavier medium (especially when the drummer can fill the white space with fills and drum rolls) but the remainder of its efforts blend into the vast Metalcore sea.
Listeners will find little innovation in this package, but its delivery and sound prove quite aesthetic. Fans of acts that revolve around the drummer will find much to praise here, while those on a steady diet of Hot Topic music will uncover much satisfaction as well. Those seeking anything else may want to continue their efforts elsewhere.
(Online October 31, 2007)