Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Review: Mutiny Within - Synchronicity

Following a mass plethora of writing down albums of the year I must listen to, I have finally felt the need to listen to this album has come. Having heard the name of New Jersey metallers Mutiny Within, I knew the time would come when a full album listening session would be in order, yet my optimism towards them immediately fell from the second I discovered that the band's original roots were as a Children of Bodom cover band. Now, if a band starts as a covers band, I'll try not to form a basis around it, but a Children of Bodom cover bad? Really? I don't suppose the main basis of the music is made up of some breakdowns and keyboards is it? And even as I say this, I dig the guys in Bodom, I just don't think I or anyone can be bothered with another band that does what they do. This was my mindset before listening to the band's new album Synchronicity in full. And now, my mindset stands somewhere that is in reality a little different but still reflects the same values as before.

In trying to come up with a good review of this album, there really is little more that I can do than think of what different bands the album makes me think of. Is that a bad thing? It doesn't necessarily need to be, right? I mean Balance obviously sounds like Bodom, but only because throughout the performance, the band display a well sought drive of ambition and gritty determination that you can find throughout the Finnish sextet's earlier material, while Become reflects the classic summoning of keyboard laden grandeur, a CoB staple.

But to some surprise, it's not the band they started doing covers of that influences this album the most. It seems for influence n Synchronicity, the band have traveled from Finland to Gothenburg, which is why the chuggy opening and power melodies to be found straight from opener Embers sounds just like a band doing an average impersonation of Reroute to Remain era In Flames. And by average, I literally just mean, all substance is cut right out of the mix. But if not looking to some of the most commercial names to emerge from Europe in metal, they're back in New Jersey, looking at their own countries ever prosperous hard rock scene. The likes of In a Moment and Lights are more in vain with the bulky melodies of Skillet or Write This Down in their reliance on a clear buildup to choruses where the big riffs are unleashed. Obviously many will look at this cynically, but this is actually where it works best for the band. Because the production is that bit more polished, the Bodom and In Flames charges really fail to ignite and come off as sounding like little more than cardboard imitations of those bands. No, hooks and arm swaying choruses are where it's at for these guys.

But with this melodic hard rock style of music proving to be the band's forte, but being so little in supply in comparison to the melodic death metal efforts, it's hard to tell what Mutiny Within are really trying to accomplish with Synchronicity. The only moments of substance come when they trade in melodies, and when they try and be this angry band that trades in breakdowns and try and show off their original Children of Bodom influences, it's just a range of bland meat and potatoes metal riffs. And what's the result? An album that will ultimately appeal to some metal fans everywhere, but any metal fan that can't identify a mass list of bands better than them is in desperate need of expansion on their current state of taste.

Mutiny Within's Synchronicity is out now via Self Release.

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