8 POINT ROSE are another of the "rookie" bands of 2010, as it were. Their first album, entitled "Primigenia," is a marriage of the darker, more aggressive power metal that you've come to expect from bands like TAD MOROSE and MORGANA LEFAY, mixed with modern hard rock/melo-death a la SOILWORK and IN FLAMES. Depending on what style of music you prefer, this can mean a couple of different things. For fans of the latter, it means a little bit different of an approach, and a little bit more varied and interesting songwriting than what these bands might currently be offering, as well as better clean vocals. For the former, it's a bit of a disappointment.
I say this strictly because of the screaming of the backing vocalist(s) on this album. They've transformed a reasonably good first Metal outing into another bargain-shelf Modern Melo-Death blunder. There's more to the music than just that, but really the harsh vocals are just unnecessary and somewhat offensive here. They add nothing to the music whatsoever. Despite this, there are a couple of decent tracks here. “Resolve” and “When Chaos Rules Our Lives” were reasonably enjoyable, but they don’t save the album as a whole from stumbling over itself.
The lead singer has a voice that is well-suited for the general style of modern melodic metal, there's no doubt there, and I'm pleased with his performance here. He doesn't get a whole lot of backup instrumentally (and forget about the backing vocals) however. Forget the bass, there's nothing interesting going on. Lead guitar and solos? Decent at best, certainly not impressive. The rhythm lines are fairly droll and unspectacular as well. Then again, this is more vocal centric work, so is any of this that important?
Frankly, in the case of 8 POINT ROSE, it is, or needs to be. The lead singer can’t save the band on his own. Frankly, the screaming is atrocious on several levels. First off, whoever does it sounds like an emotionally unstable teenager who belongs in a screamo act instead. Second, you're selling yourself out for the popular teen trends in Modern Metal. Another band that seems to not quite be able to decide if they want to please the elitists with a quality album, or sell out completely and cash in with the youngsters who will be infatuated with it for all of a couple of years.
Guys, get your act together. Clean up the garbage, spice up the guitar leads, and put some more heart into your work. There's good potential in this group to offer up some interesting and more-than-decent Melodic Heavy Metal.
(Online December 4, 2010)