Idols Are Dead

Mean

Written by: PP on 23/09/2009 17:51:24

In today's metalcore scene, bands have a tendency to go for as brutal sound as possible, with as few, if any melodic clean vocals in the mix, instead trying to lure in listeners through blistering, ridiculously technical riff work and blazing solos. Italy's Idols Are Dead are therefore an interesting outfit, because they are aiming for the slightly more classic metalcore sound, incorporating a melodic thrash sound in the process. "Mean" is their newest album, and because it references bands like (old) Bullet For My Valentine and Avenged Sevenfold, it has received its fair share of mixed reviews across the web.

Lead by a James Hetfield-sounding vocalist, Idols Are Dead could therefore be said to be Italy's shot for Bullet For My Valentine, although I have to admit they sound more believable because of the melodic thrash platform many of the songs are based upon. The first few tracks also sound way more thrash than metalcore despite the leaning on clean vocals, but like EW recently put it, we've heard so much neo-thrash as of late that it's starting to get a bit old. Luckily, it doesn't take long before the band reaches "Pain For Sale", which occasionally spills over to emo territory with its fantastic chorus that's almost straight out of early BFMV material. The clean sung chorus is melodic and infectious, supported by hook-laden guitars that aren't necessarily spectacular but provide enough detailed melody to keep the listener interested. Following track "Dirt" has another highlight bridge/chorus combination, still referencing bands like Trivium and Bullet For My Valentine, which may not sound too enticing on paper, but pause to think about this for a second: how many metalcore bands today can still do that type of sound convincingly? Idols Are Dead are one of the few that pops up in my mind.

These two tracks carry most of the album's weight on their shoulders, as they're so obviously better than the remainder of the album. While still decent material, the choruses aren't that catchy, and the instrumentals aren't unique enough to take the spotlight like in the two tracks mentioned. Guns N' Roses cover "It's So Easy" sounds a little how I'd imagine Avenged Sevenfold to sound like if they covered the same song, and it's the third track to pay good attention to on the record. Otherwise, too many of the songs blend together in a gray mass, leading me to rate these guys somewhere in the middle of the critical review spectrum these guys have been receiving.

Download: Pain For Sale, Dirt
For the fans of: Bullet For My Valentine, Trivium, Avenged Sevenfold
Listen: Myspace

Release date 22.02.2008 (re-released in 2009)
Scarlet Records

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