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JD Miller - World War X

JD Miller
World War X
by Justin "Witty City" Wittenmeier at 04 June 2017, 2:18 PM

JD MILLER’s new album “War World X” is quite the surprise.  This melodic metal/hard rock band has an amazing ability to write incredibly solid modern rock songs with a metal edge.  This combination enables them to play the heavy angle while injecting it with some wonderful melody.  The nine tracks on the album, for the most part, proves this formula is a success. With a band of this style, an important element is the vocalist.  Obviously, you don’t want anyone screaming as it would take away from their foundation but you also don’t some emo whiner either.  Peter Hallden’s vocals are perfect for the band.  He has a lot of talent with a voice that reminds me of good mainstream rock (such as FOO FIGHTERS) but I could also see him fronting a power or progressive metal band like SYMPHONY X or PYRAMAZE.  His vocals on “Against the Wind,” bring out a certain expressive tone and he pulls it off while adding hooks that pull you right into his sound.

Other than the vocals, the melodic elements come from the guitar solos and subtle use of keyboards.  I wouldn’t say the album is keyboard driven but their use definitely helps their sound, such as the beginning of the opening track, “Journey Through The Past.”  They feature throughout the song but definitely aren’t the focal point, rather they are a backdrop that pulls everything else in front of it, one of those elements being the guitar leads.  The song features a great melodic lead at the 2:56 mark, coming off sounding like a cross between both AOR and power metal.  The leads are not stuck on that sound, however, as heard in “Clouded Minds.”  The first solo is without a doubt melodic centered but after a brief pause, there is a short but sweet more metal oriented solo.  Elsewhere, the leads on “Isolation,” definitely have a more prog feel to them.

The guitar riffs are really where the Oriz and Frojd really come together and shine. The opening riffs of “Journey..” are satisfyingly heavy, a lot more serious than most AOR bands and rivals the intensity of the heavier power metal bands like SYMPHORCE or BRAINSTORM.  The appropriately titled “Power,” has power house riffing—crunchy yet clean sounding with a slight hard rock feel. Erikssen and David, on drums and bass respectfully, are quite the power house, providing well played rhythm and flow to the songs.  Erikssen’s drums are loud yet crisp, allowing him to escape from sounding too forceful even when he is playing heavier like during the solo on “Forgotten.”  David’s sound is thunderous when he is backing up the rhythm guitars; his deep playing provides a river of flowing rumble on “Against the Wind,” and “Wanderer of Light and Sorrow.”

From my understanding, this second release from them expands upon the metal sound that was not as prevalent on their previous effort, “Grand Intentions.”  I would definitely like to see them keep going with this sound because I can really see them either delivering an epic power metal album without the cheese or a really riff filled prog metal album.  I just feel as if they could do more, and be more, than they already are.   Regardless of what direction they go, JD MILLER is definitely a band to follow.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Journey Through The Past
2. Against The Wind
3. My Open Arms
4. Evergrey
5. Power
6. Clouded Minds
7. Forgotten
8. Isolation
9. Wanderer of Light And Sorrow
Lineup:
Peter Halldén - Vocals
Emil Eriksson - Drums
Alex Oriz - Lead Guitar/Rythm Guitar
Elias Fröjd - Lead Guitar/Rythm Guitar
Chris David - Bass Guitar
Record Label: Mighty Music
     


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