Montreal’s BLESSED BY A BROKEN HEART are, to put it mildly, an odd band. They seem to be some kind of bizarre Christian Metalcore/Hair Metal hybrid, which, I know, seems like utter shit on paper. However, somehow these guys manage to make it work, combining the aggressiveness of Metalcore with the party-hearty atmosphere of Hair Metal…with Jesus!
There are two high points of this album, the first of which is the sheer catchiness of the majority of the songs. Singer Tony Gambino alternates between a growly Metalcore scream and some Punk/Alternative vocals; the choruses are usually sung in the latter style, and they are spectacular. I’m normally not a fan of either Metalcore or Punk Rock, but I often found myself nodding along to the simple-yet-effective choruses of the infectious “Move Your Body” and the sexy “She’s Dangerous.” The band doesn’t seem to pretend to be anything more than a party band, and as a result, while their lyrics are about as deep as a glass of water, they’re still fun to shout along to.
The second high point of the album is guitarist Shred Sean. Though the man may be in a Metalcore band, a genre of Metal not usually known for its technical difficulty, Sean manages to squeeze in as much high-quality shredding as possible. His playing style seems to be typical ‘80s Hair Metal riffs chugged at a Metalcore speed; the intro to “Move Your Body” is a prime example. His soloing, however, is truly a thing to behold. On the album closer “Ride Into The Night,” Sean rips into a blistering solo that definitely earns him the title of virtuoso. I know, Metalcore band, right? Still, fellow Canucks INTO ETERNITY seem to share my opinion of his playing; he’s filling in for Tim Roth on the Prog-Death band’s current tour.
The choruses on “Pedal To The Metal” are so fun that they make the Metalcore screams and growls seem cheap by comparison; there’s no reason a singer as talented as Gambino should have to resort to them, as his Punk voice is aggressive enough as it is. However, other than the fact that a few songs are duds (like “Blood On Your Hands” and “She-Wolf”), and the fact that the verses of nearly all the songs are forgettable when placed next to the choruses, that’s pretty much my only complaint. If you’re looking for a new Metalcore band that’s actually pretty darn good, then this one of very few choices you have. If you’re looking for a Christian Metalcore/Hair Metal band, then this is pretty much your only choice.
(Online November 4, 2008)