Across Five Aprils


Written by: PP on 22/07/2006 01:54:38

Initially, as a longtime fan of Across Five Aprils, I found their sudden and unexpected direction change not only unexpected and strange, but also disgusting. The first few listens through the album were painful given that the band has abandonded their much cherished growling and ultra heavy breakdowns in favor of the much more trendy screamo-style and the emo/metalcore lead-oriented guitarwork.

Glimpses of "A Tragedy In Progress" are still visible though, as the opening track "Tallahassee's For Hookers" shows. The breakdowns are still there but aren't as ferocious as on their debut, and worst of all, Brandon's vocals sound exactly like AFI's on "Kill Caustic". Now this wouldn't be so bad if it was only on a few tracks, but roughly every track on "Collapse" sounds 110% like "Kill Caustic" only with different lyrics. Luckily, the lyrics are also what save this album from drowning into the evergrowing mass of similar aggressive emo/metalcore hybrids. Especially lyrics of "Let's Whisper" impress me with their brutally honest, introverted lyrics about how a guy needs to give girl her space to survive in a relationship. It sounds cheezy and cliche, but the lyrics mirror meaning coming straight from the soul of anyone who's ever been in a relationship with a woman before, digging much deeper than you would expect from the band.

After the intial shock over the change in sound and the grand reduction in originality, the album turns out decent after all. "Sunnyland" shines with its superb vocal harmonies in its chorus, and "Shot Down With Arrows" punches you hard straight from the screamed opening lyrics "Stop talking, stop talking to me!" and continues with the in-your-face aggression and the occasional gang-hardcore support vocals.

Still, after long listening sessions you wonder whether there is "A Million Miles To Montreal" hiding in a corner somewhere, because frankly, that song alone tops everything "Collapse" has to offer. It's still a decent effort relying largely on its melodic side with catchy hooks, strong leads and Brandon's throw-up vocal style all Atreyu fans can certainly relate to, but nevertheless, it's missing that 'something' to give it enough staying power to reserve its spot in regular playlist circulation.


Download: Let's Whisper, Tallahassee's For Hookers
For the fans of: Atreyu, AFI
Listen: Myspace

Release date 11.07.2006
Indianola Records

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