Album Review – My Dear Addiction / Kill The Silence (2016)

This electric Swedish act is back and absolutely psyched up to kill the silence with more of their dynamic and melodic Metalcore.

Rating5

MDA-Kill_The_Silence-albumcoverHailing from the city of Älmhult, Sweden, around 500km southwest of the capital Stockholm (by the way, it was in Älmhult that the first IKEA store was built), the competent Melodic Metalcore five-piece band My Dear Addiction is back in action with their second full-length album, entitled Kill The Silence. And I might add that silence is the only thing you’ll definitely not find in this storm of ten high-speed and intense tunes thoroughly put together by this electric Swedish act.

With over a decade of experience, having released their debut album New Blood back in 2010 and having already played alongside bands such as Scar Symmetry and Dead By April over the years, My Dear Addiction returned to The Panic Room, the same studio where their first album was born in Sweden, to record Kill The Silence. Featuring a subtly dark artwork by Carl Blekkmark, from Blekkmark Design Studio (who has already worked with renowned artists such as Yngwie Malmsteen, Richie Sambora, Paul McCartney and Stephen King), Kill The Silence has everything Metalcore fans can expect from an album, delivering a strong message through each and every song.

The atmospheric and modern title-track Kill the Silence ignites the album by blending American Metalcore with the Gothenburg sound, with lead singer Kim Lindstén providing a good balance between clean vocals and harsh screams. A Promise is a lot heavier than the opening track thanks to the ferocious riffs by guitarists Christoffer Holm and Ludvig Blaesild, which add a lot of fuel to this excellent Melodic Death Metal tune; whereas in the upbeat chant Winners, drummer Peter Parkeborn pounds his drums mercilessly while Kim delivers a solid performance enhanced by the positive message from the song’s lyrics.

Beautiful is another great display of contemporary Metalcore, with its cheerful lyrics (“You are beautiful for what you are / Eyes will see / This will reach their heart / This is the song for a new start”) getting even more expressive due to the song’s background effects and powerful guitar lines. But it’s when those Swedes get faster and heavier that their music gains some considerable punch, which is the case in the thrilling Unbreakable, a song to bang your head and slam into the pit with your friends. As expected from any European band, they have a strong and noticeable melodic vein feeding their music, with the guitars by Christoffer and Ludvig burning bright and leading that harmonious torrent.

MDA-01Very melodic and with lots of breaks and variations, Always Around You sounds like a more progressive version of Metalcore, with bassist Johannes Nordigårds smashing his chords and consequently increasing the song’s impact, followed by All White, which despite losing some of its grip after a while is pretty decent in the end anyway. Furthermore, I’m not sure who’s responsible for the keyboards in the entire album, but he or she does an amazing job crafting a metallic and eerie ambience in almost all songs.

Veins, the shortest of all tracks, offers the listener the sheer violence found in Melodic Death Metal with smoother passages from Metalcore, especially in regards to the vocal lines by Kim, which should work pretty well if played live. And Face It and Rewind, although weaker than most tracks of the album, still presents solid guitar lines and sharp beats that prevent it from letting the energy level go down in Kill the Silence. Last but not least, Our Fire Inside has a Linkin Park-ish vibe in the beginning that suddenly morphs into heavy and aggressive Metalcore with some futuristic elements added to it, with highlights to its rhythm and groove, perfect for some crazy headbanging.

If you’re a diehard Metalcore fan, I truly recommend you go after the work by My Dear Addiction, either by getting in touch with them through their Facebook page or by enjoying their music through their YouTube channel. And you can obviously purchase Kill the Silence, available for streaming in its entirety HERE, at their official BandCamp page, on iTunes, on Amazon, and several other locations. Luckily for all of us, My Dear Addiction is not just back with a brand new album, but absolutely psyched up to kill the silence with more of their dynamic and melodic Metalcore.

Best moments of the album: A Promise, Winners and Unbreakable.

Worst moments of the album: All White and Face It and Rewind.

Released in 2016 Dead End Exit Records

Track listing
1. Kill the Silence 3:51
2. A Promise 3:38
3. Winners 3:17
4. Beautiful 3:31
5. Unbreakable 3:00
6. Always Around You 4:00
7. All White 3:57
8. Veins 2:42
9. Face It and Rewind 3:53
10. Our Fire Inside 4:24

Band members
Kim Lindstén – vocals
Christoffer Holm – guitar
Ludvig Blaesild – guitar
Johannes Nordigårds – bass
Peter Parkeborn – drums

Album Review – Cloudscape / Voice of Reason (2016)

These awesome Swedish metallers provide us once again a well-balanced fusion of progressiveness, feeling, professionalism and an endless amount of our most beloved element, Heavy Metal.

Rating4

Cloudscape-voiceofreason-cover2400Just like their Scandinavian friends from Norway and Finland, it looks like it’s absolutely impossible to find a bad metal group from Sweden either. It doesn’t matter if it’s the most nefarious form of Black Metal or the most endearing and joyful Hard Rock you can think of, the quality of the music always goes beyond the boundaries of awesomeness. Thus, this is also the case in the high-octane Voice of Reason, the fifth studio album by Melodic Progressive Metal quintet Cloudscape, a band tailored for fans of icons like Dream Theater, Evergrey, Iron Maiden and Yngwie Malmsteen, among others.

Formed in 2001 in Helsingborg, Sweden, Cloudscape have already paved a solid path through the years, showcasing all their superior skills with each and every release and embellishing venues and festivals all over the world with their passion for metal. Now with Voice of Reason, which songwriting started back in 2013 and features another excellent artwork created by Mattias Norén from ProgArt Media (who has already worked with bands such as Kamelot, Evergrey and Sabaton), the band aims at entering new unexplored territories without losing their core essence, flirting with the sonority of their earlier albums. Well, let’s say that they reached their goal in a faultless manner.

The opening track A New Design already blends their classic sounding with modern metal music, with the vocals by Mike Andersson offering the listener melodic lines and hard-hitting aggression at the same time. In addition, its exciting chorus adds a more-than-welcome kick to this solid tune, turning it into one of the top moments of the album. Then, with an Iron Maiden-ish aura and hints of Hard Rock and Alternative Metal, we have the fresh and vibrant chant Futuristic Phsyco, where guitarists Patrik Svärd and Stefan Rosqvist, together with bassist Håkan Nyander, give a lesson in Progressive Metal with their unstoppable stringed weapons; followed by Don’t Close Your Eyes, another powerful song where its gentle but captivating keyboards shine amidst its heavy guitar riffs, not to mention its backing vocals doing a superb job supporting Mike’s performance.

CS-1As its name already says, All For Metal is pure classic Heavy Metal, with its riffs and drums transpiring electricity. Not only this is by far my favorite song of the album, but I simply love when a band pays that type of “tribute” to their roots and heroes without sounding cheesy. Moreover, it’s easy to visualize how incredible this tune might sound live with the crowd singing it together with the band. However, it’s time to slow things down a bit and get as progressive as possible in the 11-minute title-track Voice Of Reason, with the ambience getting stronger due to its keyboards and the heartwarming vocals by Mike, while drummer Fredrik Joakimsson makes sure the rhythm changes all the time avoiding any sort of staleness.

Thunders Of Extreme will please most fans of Scandinavian metal due to its classic guitar lines and uplifting lyrics, which combined will surely make you feel good while listening to it. Furthermore, this superb tune proves this band definitely knows how to craft catchy choruses, enhancing the impact of their already well-engendered compositions even more. Needle In The Eye is perhaps the most modern of all songs, as you can sense nuances of Alternative Metal thoroughly added to their powerful progressiveness, before the second-longest track of the album, In Silence We Scream, concludes the album majestically. Although it begins in a nice acoustic way with highlights to its emotional lyrics beautifully declaimed by Mike, it’s when the other instruments hit the music (consequently making it much heavier and denser) that things get a lot more ravishing and epic.

Tom sum up, those Swedish metallers were spot on with their comments about how Voice of Reason was going to sound like, providing the listener a well-balanced fusion of progressiveness, feeling, professionalism and an endless amount of our most beloved element, Heavy Metal. You can reach Cloudscape at their official Facebook page and YouTube channel, and get your copy of the album on iTunes, Amazon and several other locations. As you might have noticed already, Voice of Reason is what we can call the perfect album to start the year with a true metallic bang.

Best moments of the album: A New Design, All For Metal and Thunders Of Extreme.

Worst moments of the album: Needle In The Eye.

Released in 2016 Dead End Exit Records

Track listing
1. A New Design 5:43
2. Futuristic Phsyco 3:33
3. Don’t Close Your Eyes 4:45
4. All For Metal 5:25
5. Voice Of Reason 11:55
6. Thunders Of Extreme 4:23
7. Needle In The Eye 5:08
8. In Silence We Scream 9:30

Band members
Mike Andersson – vocals, keyboards
Patrik Svärd – guitar
Stefan Rosqvist – guitar
Håkan Nyander – bass
Fredrik Joakimsson – drums, backing vocals, keyboards