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Motive Black - Auburn Award winner

Motive Black
by "Metal Mark" Garcia at 01 March 2023, 3:03 PM

As Modern Metal genres and Alternative Metal genres became popular at the end of the 90’s, they became sources of musical inspiration and influences for generations to come (you all can like this or not, but facts are not a matter or liking them or not…they just are facts). And acts as EVANESCENCE, SYSTEM OF A DOWN, LINKIN’ PARK, SLIPKNOT and many others are extremely important due their commercial success. And one can say that MOTIVE BLACK follows a similar tendency to become success as well, as heard on “Auburn”. The band’s music isn’t an unknown formula, after all: it’s that melodic and hooking mix between influences of Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, Alternative Rock, Alternative Metal, Nu-Metal, Industrial Metal, and even some Pop Rock appeal on some moments (as heard clearly on “Bloodsport”, and it wouldn’t be a sin to say that it’s a heavier form of works of artists as Avril Lavigne).

But there’s a talent working on each song, turn the experience of tasting “Auburn” a lovely and joyful one. It’s abrasive, catchy, melodic and powerful, full of energy and a fresh life pulsing on the entire album. The album was produced at NGR Studios by Grammy-winning Nick Rowe (drummer of KORN and that previously worked with MADONNA, VAMPIRE WEEKEND, LAMB OF GOD, SNOOP DOGG, and others) and mixed by the hands of Josh Wilbur (who previously worked with PAPA ROACH, KORN, LAMB OF GOD, KORN, and others). And all was done in a form that makes the songs impact with weight and modern, and with defined instrumental tunes. It’s impossible to hear and not understand what’s being expressed.

All the songs are really great, showing that a great name is arising on North American scene, but for a first time on the album, one can pinpoint “Lift Me Up” (an abrasive and powerful song, filled with very good arrangements of guitars and drums, but the singing is amazing, especially due the presence of Carla Harvey of BUTCHER BABIES), “Broken” (one of the singles of the album, a song filed with powerful and modern melodies, with contrasts between introspective moments and heavier ones, with a bombastic work of bass guitar and drums), “Let Down” ( this one is into a more New Metal/Alternative tendency, but always with hooking melodies), “Bloodsport” (as said above, this one is an accessible song with gluing melodies and choruses, a very good song for radios), “Caged” (a modern and accessible Alternative Metal song, with some elements reminding a lot older JANE’S ADDICTION works, witch charming catchy touches), “Cellophane” (where some traits of Thrash Metal can be heard due faster tempos and aggressiveness), “Bad Decisions” (this one is nearer the New Metal approach used by SLIPKNOT, or in other words, a fine combination between melodies and a heavy crushing weight with industrial Metal elements), “Fight Alone” (another song based on contrasts between melodic and melancholic parts with heavier moments, and what lovely chorus) and “Auburn” are the better ones. And the work of the singer Elana wasn’t mentioned because she is the driving force behind the band’s music, so she’s in great shape in all the songs.

“Auburn” is really a very good surprise, and MOTIVE BLACK can be heard by fans of different Metal genres, is just a matter of having an open mind.

Songwriting: 10
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

1. Lift Me Up
2. Broken
3. Let Down
4. Bloodsport
5. Caged
6. Purge
7. Cellophane
8. Bad Decisions
9. Fake
10. Fight Alone
11. Auburn
Elana Justin - Vocals
Nick Rowe - Guitar, Bass
Ray Luzier - Drums
Record Label: AFM Records


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