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Melrose - Hypnotized Award winner

by Daniel Fox at 03 July 2015, 5:21 PM

“Seek and you shall find”. True in some respects; a few years ago I found my still-favourite band by searching with the keywords “progressive metal” on YouTube. On the other hand, the undiscovered wonders of the music world serendipitously fall into one’s lap; such was the case with Chicago-based Symphonic “Sci-Fi” Death Metal band MECHINA, whose latest offering, “Acheron”, came out earlier this year. Present on some of the tracks on the album, portraying one of the album’s key characters, is Chicago-based singer and musician, Mel Rose. Shortly after absorbing “Acheron” I had to find out if she had a band of her own, and I discovered a Bandcamp under the name MELROSE with a 5-track EP up, titled “Hypnotized”; MECHINA mastermind Joe Tiberi performing guitars and producing the effort. Fans of the new MECHINA album can expect the wonderful and adventurous voice that dominated “Ode To The Forgotten Few”, taking the entirety of the lead vocal helm for this release.

Musically, “Hypnotized” is by no means ‘another MECHINA album’, even by proxy, though Joe’s choppy riffs and production flavour sometimes point in that direction. What we have here is, essentially, a well-rounded 5-course meal; we have a plethora of Metal, Pop, Alternatives, and even some ballad-y moments. No; it’s not a carbon copy of LACUNA COIL or IN THIS MOMENT. This is a singer I hadn’t heard of making music I can’t compare to anything else. Beginning with “If I…”, liquid grooves, delicate guitars, and airy vocal deliveries transition in and out of punchy, powerful choruses. If anything, this is an example I would use to define “multi-layered”; many facets showing many different reflections, but not ‘too much’ going on.

The title track has to be my favourite here; a progressive, evolving and pulsating rhythm section provides the vehicle upon which Mel’s voice soars, and I mean, fucking soars. A perfect combination of Metal, and a voice that gives us the infectious catchiness of Pop without being restricted by the genre’s conventions the chorus of this track is perhaps the brightest highlight of the entire EP. A few rewinds later, I moved onto something that flipped expectations over and done, in the rather avant-garde-sounding “Nothing Lasts Forever”. Almost entirely an acoustic track, it is backed with almost tribal-sounding drumming, giving an off-the-wall and indie vibe to the entire piece.

Having been provided a seeming calm before the storm, “All Fall Down” crashes down like thunder; certainly the EP’s heaviest and most aggressive offering – at least, certainly in a different fashion to the more technical title track. Possessing yet another splendid chorus, this track does well to show off Mel’s impressive range. Swirling the waters of Progressive Rock (and, unless I’m going deaf, multitudes of Pop) is the final offering, “Hurricane”; teasing us with a warm, reverberating introduction chock-full of fantastic bass grooves, Joe’s guitar playing displays a more adventurous and melodic side on this track. By no means a chorus-verse-chorus-solo offering, it continually sheds its own skin opening out into a new form with each new phrase.

Released somewhat later, not technically a part of this EP, is a single titled “Wasted On You”; yet again featuring Joe on guitars and at the production helm, it comes with a cleaner sound, even heavier guitars and vocals that were popping with colour. Dynamic, crushing, catchy, melodic, progressive and ultimately modern.

With a bit of luck, I may have something to look forward to in the near future, in a debut MELROSE album (or at least a second EP); that and a new MECHINA record in a single year; be able to contain myself, I will not.

5 Star Rating

1. If I…
2. Hypnotized
3. Nothing Lasts Forever
4. All Fall Down
5. Hurricane
Mel Rose - Vocals, Guitars
Joe Tiberi - Guitars
Record Label: Independent


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