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I Am Noah - The Verdict

I Am Noah
The Verdict
by Sammy M at 13 September 2016, 10:02 PM

I am of two minds when it comes to metalcore bands. On one hand, they offer up a huge amount of rage induced brutality that to some people is more accessible than death metal, and for that I have to be happy that they at least tend to bring in new metal fans from younger age groups. On the other hand, they generally become far too predictable with their song structure, often trivial lyrics, and extremely choppy guitar work. I AM NOAH are metalcore through and through with one difference. At least with their debut album “The Verdict”, they borrow one certain aspect that we are more used to seeing in prog and power metal bands. “The Verdict” plays out through the eyes of a protagonist of sorts named Noah, who is quite simply fed up with life and the way society functions. Often in prog and power you will have a story played out through the albums and in that one aspect, I AM NOAH set themselves apart from the metalcore masses. It’s a great detail that I for one, appreciate.

I AM NOAH hail from Germany and were formed in early 2015. Later that year they recorded this album and finally in 2016 it has been released. As I said, I’m divided when it comes to this style, but I found myself enjoying “The Verdict” much more than I expected to. The vocals of Sören Frechen stand out as not just being angry, but managing to sound somewhat pained and lost. It fits well with the theme of the album and suits the character of Noah in his depressed, frustrated, and confused state. The music itself does little to differ from the majority of metalcore with its choppy guitar and nothing special drumming. Not to say that the musicianship here is bad, it’s actually quite good. It’s just not really that unique.

There are particular moments that shine through such as the brilliant and surprising addition of clean vocals from Dennis Fries of HIS STATUE FALLS in “What Is Dead May Never Die” and the haunting and impactful intro to “If Life Could Be The Answer”, but in general this album is, at least musically, exactly what you’d expect. It’s once you listen to the lyrics, or happen to know the theme of the album, that you truly get an appreciation for what I AM NOAH have accomplished here. The production helps it feel polished, but again that has become something to expect from metalcore.

“The Verdict” is a solid album with a great theme and absolutely stellar vocal work that only suffers from musically sounding much like the rest of the pack. It is however, a great example of metalcore done right in many ways especially when it comes to lyrics and adding a bit more meaning to the music. There really isn’t anything about this album that I can say is bad, and as far as debut albums go, this is a great effort. Also on a side note, I have to say that the album cover is amazing. Seriously fantastic artwork.


Songwriting: 9/10
Originality: 7/10
Memorability: 6/10
Production: 8/10

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
01. Defendant
02. Rise Of Mankind
03. Embrace The End
04. The Verdict
05. If Life Could Be The Answer
06. Unlearned
07. Deafblind
08. What Is Dead May Never Die (feat. Dennis Fries)
09. Drowned
10. One Man Wolfpack
11. Hourglass
12. Conquer The Thrones
Lineup:
Sören Frechen – Vocals
Tim Schwenk – Lead Guitar
Daniel Zehren – Rhythm Guitar
René Breinbauer – Bass
Marius Greif – Drums
Record Label: Bastardized Recordings
     


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