Rosesdead and Juniper Sky…
Posted on Tuesday, June 13th, 2006 @ 10:25am » permalink
I found a few CD's yesterday that have been sitting here for quite awhile but got shuffled aside, and I was practically disappointed to rediscover "Stages", the debut full-length from Rosesdead (on One Day Savior), because it reminded me that I had been intending to buy a full copy of this CD over two months ago (Damn to hell the use of promos without complete packaging!), but I never did… and then I forgot about it. So I guess I'll finally pick one up later this week, but I wanted to go ahead and get this shit up on the site since it's been collecting dust since late-March!
I know what you're thinking: "Man, that band name's a little, uhhh… 'geigh'." While I can't disagree there, I can wholly recommend that you look past such an oversight. I simply cannot comprehend why I'm not hearing more about these guys, because the quality of this release should be garnering way more attention that it seems to have received thus far. The band hails from Canada and released an EP a couple of years ago, but this is my first exposure to their work, and I'm fucking impressed. Aside from the fact that on rare occasion (out of 40 minutes we're talking, maybe… five or six minutes tops) they'll venture into played out Swedish styled melodies or tremolo picking nonsense, everything about this disc is top-fucking-notch contemporary metalcore that blows through shitloads of killer riffs and dynamics with no remorse. Chugging staccato breakdowns, caustic textures and dissonant chord phrasings, fluid clean passages and droning interludes, technical metal flare… it's all here, and the end result is actually cohesive – it's not a jumbled mess of riff after riff after riff. Basically this is another band that's coming close to the level and overall aesthetic of what Misery Signals is doing (in fact Rosesdead is probably the closest of any other band I've encountered to date), and that is no small compliment at all. This is easily one of the best metalcore records I've heard all year, and it's worth mentioning that the recording is pretty damn good on top of the intense songwriting. Were they to toss those few crappy Swedish trappings they'd be completely golden. I can't help but worry about the lyrical content a little bit due to the band name being somewhat silly, but I'm hoping for the best there. Hey, as far as the packaging's concerned, I dig the cover art if nothing else.
Rosesdead "The Structure"
Rosesdead "Night Danger"
I'm damn sure looking forward to more from these cats, and I'll be buying one of these myself within a day or two. You should do the same if you're into it:
@ One Day Savior
@ Very Distribution
Here's another CD that I got a couple of months ago and found under a bunch of other crap the other day, and yes… it's from another fairly painfully named band. Juniper Sky is from New York, and "Don't Forget" is their debut full-length on Textbook Music. This one's not gonna be for everyone, but I like the bulk of what I'm hearing, and with a little extra push I think this band could actually do some great work. For the most part this is some form of emo with tastefully high-pitched singing and a surprisingly metallic edge that counters the melody in a way that doesn't really change the overall feel of the material. It's really nothing particularly original per se, but the songwriting is solid, and I really like it when emo-ish bands have a crunchy sort of metal edge to their approach. They try to mess with some smatterings of electronics here and there, but while perfectly fine (most of the time, in a few areas they do go overboard with that mess) I just don't really see the need for it – it's not like it adds anything to the material, nor does it really come across as "creative" or whatnot at this point. At times the pacing can drag a touch, so I'd like to hear them speed things up and get a little more energy moving around on occasion, but there's sort of a somber kind of moody crawl to a lot of this stuff that does work with many of the tempos, so that's cool.
Honestly, what would help this band the most is a stronger recording. The vocals are a little overpowering in the mix (which might draw undue hostility from listeners who aren't as acquainted with this niche), and that's largely because the instruments aren't full enough to dominate the overall flow. The guitars need to be warmer with crisper, clearer basslines across the board, and the percussion needs to follow suit. Right now the drumming almost sounds programmed on occasion (not from a performance standpoint, I'm speaking strictly with regard to the actual sound and tone of the percussion), and that just feeds into the fact that the singing is punchier and more dominant than anything else herein. It sounds okay, though, and some of the songs definitely suggest bigger and better things to come. I could definitely see this stuff getting fairly "popular" under the right circumstances.
Juniper Sky "All For You"
Juniper Sky "Forever"
For some reason the label's not selling copies of this disc themselves right now, I don't know what that's all about. But it's definitely out and around in the distros, so pick it up if this is your kind of thing:
@ Very Distribution