The online hype about this release provides a blueprint for change; the music, however, must have come from an outdated treasure map. Nothing in these tracks pushes the boundaries, and there is no gold in them there hills. The producers and musicians appear quite content with following commercial trends and guiding others toward a shopping spree at the local Hot Topic.
Matt Pelletier uses the clean, raspy, and guttural emotions found on any SEVENDUST release as the sugar-coating for music that doesn’t stray far from the likes of other Core artists across the North American continent. Lyrical contents explore every avenue you would expect from a disc titled “Shotgun Therapy,” from a subject’s beauty in death to battles with inner demons. FORTY BIRDS offer lots of crunch, experimentations with time signatures, and occasional percussive brilliance; however nothing here drives the listener down uncomfortable avenues or alleyways in pursuit of the next level. If anything the intent feels like an attempt to capitalize on current trends before die cold and alone beside the dumpster.
A few traces of larger influences surface in these tracks, such as a comparable vocal inflection to SOUNDGARDEN in “Into The Knife” and “Part Two.” These slivers do not pull the artists from their vision, however, as they follow a predetermined course throughout the journey. One won’t find poor compositions on this road, but they may suffer a flat tire from the Metalcore shrapnel littering the North American highways in search of the next manifest destiny.
(Online March 11, 2008)