Sound: After two years, Southern-metal group Maylene & The Sons Of Disaster have returned with their fourth album, appropriately titled "IV". Let's just say the hard rock trend of their last album "III" has continued. In fact, Maylene have completely become a hard rock band. For most bands, this would be a bad thing. However, Maylene is one of the few metalcore bands to transition into a hard rock band and still remain true to themselves. Fans of the just MATOSD's past shreddy & screamy efforts will enjoy the opener "In Dead We Dream", but will probably turn off the rest of the record. I enjoy both sides of Maylene, but I like their new sound. Yes, it's melodic, but the southern crunch and attitude is still there. It just is no longer expressed through screaming and double-bass. There are a handful of ballads, such as "Faith Healer (Bring Me Down)" and "Drought Of '85". But, the majority of the album is southern hard rock. The track "Cat's Walk" is a highlight, as is "Open Your Eyes", which has a riff that would have fit right in on Black Stone Cherry's latest album. The new Maylene will undoubtedly be hated by some fans, but "IV" is a very enjoyable hard rock ride that puts most radio rock to shame. // 8
Lyrics: Singing - First off, Dallas Taylor is a bada-s. His screaming in both Underoath and now Maylene is treasured by fans of both groups. However, after the barn-burning opener "In Dead We Dream", there is no real screaming to be found on "IV". However, that just makes it possible for Dallas to finally show off his singing voice. In past efforts, I feel that Dallas was a little timid to show off his range. His singing in the first three Maylene album is (mostly) lower-range and gritty. On IV he finally shows his higher range. Dallas actually has a great voice.
Lyrics - For those that don't know, Maylene was named after Ma Barker and her sons that made up the Barker/Kapsis gang in the 1930's. On the first two Maylene albums, Dallas sung about the adventures of Ma Barker and her sons. On "III" however, Dallas began to address his personal life. On "IV", that trend has continued, I think. I don't know what the lyrics are about, but they seem to be about Dallas and his life. They're still great though. // 8
Overall Impression: I'll keep it short. MATOSD have left the metal behind and joined the hard-rock fraternity. Unlike the bands before them that have done the same thing, Maylene have remained true to themselves and kept their southern sound. I like "IV" and hate nothing on it. I'd replace it if it were lost/stolen. // 8