Stumbling upon DEAD BY APRIL, the curiosity of their claim to fame of being ‘Pop Metal’ had me hooked with the concept. Considering they currently employ an ex-NIGHTRAGE vocalist in their line-up, their sophomore effort “Incomparable” found its way into my collection. An interesting album to say the least, its not quite the effective combination that it could have been.
Bands like RAUNCHY claim the same combination of Pop and Metal, but no one takes it to quite the extent that DEAD BY APRIL do on “Incomparable." The Pop tones on “Dreaming” and “Within My Heart” of the extensive and melodic synths used are almost dance-like in their catchiness while one singer throws down the vocal hooks through his Pop Punk crooning like it was going out of style. This is heavily partnered with a Modern Metal use of down tuned stop and go riffing and aggressive double bass drumming to keep that Metal edge and energy pushing through. The barking harsh vocals burst through to match the rhythm section and add enough angst to guarantee that the “Metal” indicator is included in their genre.
To be honest, “Incomparable” is catchy for those unafraid of what good things Pop music has to offer. It’s also an album that’s completely formulaic in its writing. Harsh yelling, Pop choruses, synth melody, chugging riff, and repeat. This odd way of going about the style, which other bands certainly push to further limits, makes the album repetitive and often forgettable past song four. When the band does do something out of the ordinary – like a ballad without the harsh vocals – it sticks out. Beyond that it tends to run through motions that were highlighted on the first few tracks.
DEAD BY APRIL have potential. Their use of the Pop melodies and the rhythmatic bombardment of Modern Metal is fun when it’s done properly. The unfortunate ‘stick to what works’ mentality of the album does hinder it from going anywhere beyond that. It is only a sophomore effort though – so perhaps these Pop Metallers are ones to keep an eye on in the future.
Songs to check out: “Dreaming," “Within My Heart," “Two Faced."
(Online May 19, 2012)