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As I May – My Own Creations

As I May
My Own Creations
by Jack Lynch at 20 August 2019, 10:13 PM

It seems on the surface that Finnish metal band AS I MAY are on a good stride. Their 2017 debut album “Speak No Evil” garnered enough praise from fans that label Rockshots Records signed the band for their newest release “My Own Creations”.  That is by-all-means an upward progression for a group that was only formed in 2016 and whose combination of Modern Metal rhythms with Metalcore flare seem to have found an audience among a subgenre known for its clean vocals and big choruses. AS I MAY does the latter very well, clocking out some good tracks that fit tightly into a Melodic Metal sound that is sure to capture more fans as the band progresses. However, like most good things this does not come easy, and despite the highs “My Own Creations” has going for it the album suffers from what it does all too often, and unfortunately lacks that extra punch that could’ve placed it in the upper atmosphere.

“My Own Creations” starts off with "Pride Goes Before the Fall." It’s a bumping single that best showcases the band’s blend of synth filled Modern Metal, that’s infused with Metalcore backing vocals. It all works rather well in contrast to the clean vocal stylings of the lead singer Tipi Nokelainen. His vocals are deep, resonating, and at times operatic, not unlike another Finnish vocalist, Vile Valo of the Goth Rock group H.I.MTipi’s range is great and his catchy craftmanship is put to great use on "What a Waster of Life", "I See You in Me", and "Silent".  "What A Waste of Life" kicks things up a notch, working as much speedier riffs and harsh vocals into each open second, while still maintaining an anthem you’ll be nodding you head to. More than anything it shows the band can crank out tracks that are fun to listen to and full of energy. "I See You In Me" hits some emotional notes that tear from the heart and show the band can connect on that greater level.

Which brings me to perhaps the hardest part of my review. After the first couple of tracks it seems the band is doing everything right. Good singing. Check. Harsh backing vocals. Check. Usage of Nu-metal, Punk, and Modern Metal guitar riffs. Check. Orchestration and synth. Check.  So why was it that by about the hallway mark I felt as if I had had enough? As the middle track "Necessary Evil" breaks into its chorus I felt as if the album was already outstaying its welcome. Tonally, all the songs up to that point sound relatively the same and everything after that and till the end of the final song "Loud" feels as if it is rehashing the same formula to an exhausting effect. The guitar work of Jani Valhola and Lasse Hiltunen seems to get lost and Marko Korhonen’s drums aren’t going to be showing you anything new beyond standard double base pedal. Obviously, some of this has to do with the characteristics of the genre. However even knowing this doesn’t help the fact that it all feels little uninspired, and you’re going to struggle to connect with a feeling as harsh vocals only seem to pop in to remind you that a song is supposed to be heavy.  It’s not to say that any of these songs completely bad so much as they just lack a certain tonal diversity that makes them stand apart from one another.  Unfortunately, when taken in whole with the rest of the album, the better songs tend to suffer, which is why I would recommend listening to first half of the album and then taking a break.

It’s quite evident within the start of “My Own Creations” that AS I MAY are a hard-working band, and on a trajectory that is going to pay off great dividends down the line.  I always respect a band, or any artists for that matter, that puts everything they have into their work, constantly tweaking and honing their craft. “My Own Creations” is not a misfire so much as it’s a progression for a band still tinkering and exploring the ranges of their song writing. Naturally with a dynamic process such as that some tracks are going to work better than others, even though they are made up of the same DNA. “My Own Creations” may be worth a spin at least for its few opening tracks, but ultimately in its entirety, I feel most listeners will long for something more robust to connect to.

Songwriting: 7
Originality:6
Memorability:5
Production:6

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. End of The Beginning
2. Pride Geos Before A Fall
3. What a Waste of Life
4. I See You In Me
5. Silent
6. Necessary Evil
7. Cure Is Worse Than Disease
8. Quiet Place
9. Loud
Lineup:
Tipi Nokelainen - Bass and Clean vocals
Lasse Hiltunen - Guitar and Scream vocals
Jani Valhola - Guitar and Backup vocals
Marko Korhonen – Drums
Record Label: Rockshots Records
     


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