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dEMOTIONAL - Discovery Award winner

by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 09 May 2017, 12:36 PM

dEMOTIONAL was formed in Sweden in 2009, as part of the front line of the New Wave of Swedish Heavy Metal bands. The sextet are set to release their new album “Discovery” here on May 27, self-released. The album contains ten tracks. If you have been asleep for the past 20+ years, you have missed out on a veritable hot-bed of artists from Sweden in the Rock and Metal genre, and they have brought us so many unbelievable bands with original sounds, from the ultra-brutal and heavy, to the pop and melodic sublime. This is a band that has always been able to bring all of this to the table, so let’s delve into the tracks.

“What Have We Become” is heavy with electronica and the combination of clean and harsh vocals gives an edgy sound to the melodies. “Ashes” is I believe the second official single. The emotional quality of the clean vocals is very noteworthy. In terms of an American counterpoint, I am reminded of the outstanding New Jersey outfit MUTINY WITHIN. The vocals take center stage and provide the direction for the song. “All That It Takes” was the first single released. This song is driven by the rhythmic riff that dances over top of the bass and drums which hold down the heavy end. The harmonies in the chorus are wonderful, as well as the solitary guitar solo which works with the melodies of the song so well.

“Monster” has a great energy and features Jenny Fagerstrandh on guest vocals, who lends beauty to an already glorious sound. Listening to the song just makes you feel alive. “Overload” is raucous and heavier, with anger-fueled vocals and hard struck staccato notes. The electronic elements of the album are pretty strong here. It gives it a futuristic sort of sound. In “If You Believe,” there are some varied vocal approaches that keep you on your toes. The bells that ring out in the chorus shoot the melodies into the canopy of stars above. “Mimic” is led by a strong keyboard presence which keeps the prettier side of the music in full swing, while the heavy and angst filled harsh vocals provide the aggression, especially the drawn-out scream at the end. The balance they strike here is actually quite impressive.

“Carry On” nails another big and memorable chorus. The oppressive weight of the song is met with all the melodic sensibilities of a good AOR band. I can’t describe adequately how well they do this and it is certainly a high point of the album. “Train Wreck” uses more clean vocals than harsh, really allowing this song to breathe, and it is wonderful. It has a melancholy feeling, perhaps more so than others on the album, with some desolate lyrics that just stick with you. “One Hour Stranger” closes the ten-track album with another strong track where the aggression is tempered with melody and harmony, and stirs your emotions like a moving personal story would, and that ending gave me chills.

In my opinion, “Discovery” is the band’s best album to date. It arrives precisely at a point in the space-time continuum where the Metal we were raised on meets the musical sounds of the future. Stylistically, it truly breaks traditional barriers within the sub genres of Melodic Metal, Melodic Death Metal and Metal-Core, and arises to life like a phoenix with its own new sound. Everything you would expect from a good Metal album is here—the melodies shine like a beacon in the darkness, it invokes in you a bevy of various emotions, and is a charged bull that comes at you with might and power. What sets these various sounds apart however is how they form into a synergy that binds it all together. Every time I listen to it I am moved in a different direction. Sometimes I want to break things, and other times I want to wallow quietly with my inner demons. A truly outstanding work here!

Songwriting: 9
Originality: 9
Memorability: 10
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. What Have We Become
2. Ashes
3. All That It Takes
4. Monster
5. Overload
6. If You Believe
7. Mimic
8. Carry On
9. Train Wreck
10. One Hour Stranger
Christopher Kristensen
Nils-Petter Power
Sebastian Fjordevik
Johan Olofsson
Kristoffer Lindh
Tommy Magnusson
Record Label: Independent


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