Sound — 9
ABRB, as you know, is a Deathcore band hailing from L.A., that just never seems to be able to keep the same line-up. Well, enough about that, this is about their 2006 album, Allegiance. ABRB, in this album, portray their skill with their instruments very obviously. The band used Drop C tuning for this album, and they tended to keep within the C Minor, C Harmonic Minor and C Melodic Minor scales, which raises the most stressed and talked about negative for this album: the songs sound similar. This band is like aggressive Deathcore heavily influenced by Metalcore on Speed. The album shows no real musicianship or artistry. They have similar riffs in songs, and they are extremely repetative. However, their melodic technicality combined with their speed quickly makes up for their song construction skills. Take Hester Prynne for example. That song makes everyone jizz, am I not correct? Their breakdowns make people reconsider the Core genre's. They are just sheer brutality. They have some of the most brutal breakdowns I've ever heard, even the first breakdown in Strife (Chug Chug), although that was their weakest breakdown, it's still good. Their guitarists, ever changing as they are, have always been extremely skilled technically with their instrument. Ernie, who acted as the first guitarist and the solo guitarist for this album, was very technical in his playing. I hope the best for him since he is no longer apart of the band anymore. Their guitar-prowess is genious, but their real power comes from their rhythm section: Nick (Bass) and Lech (Drums). Nick Stewart keeps up with their extreme guitar tracks with his FINGERS. Nick is definately one of the better bassists of our time, and is personally one of my bass idols. Lech... wow... his drumming is just... wow... He is probably one of the best drummers that metal has ever grasped, and it's a priveledge to hear him play. I think it's safe to say that Nick and Lech are, and always will be, the powerhouse behind ABRB.
Lyrics — 8
Lyrically, I personally love ABRB. Although they aren't the most poetic peices, their songs all have meaning in them, striking at political leadership, or talking about how "you" are on a path to self-destruction. I personally LOVE ABRB's lyrics. Their vocalist for this album, however, is okay. He's a distorted scream and yeller, like me, and his octave jumps are pretty decent in this album. However, he only distincts between three notes, and I believe that note veriety is key to a successful vocalist.
Overall Impression — 7
ABRB is arguably the best Deathcore band that America, maybe even the world, has to offer. This is the only Deathcore band that I ALWAYS enjoy listening to, and it's the only Deathcore band that I have heard that is technically proficient. As for songs that are impressive, the stand-outs in this album were definately (in order) Hester Prynne, In Dying Days, My Fears Have Become Phobias, and Strife (Chug Chug). I love that this album is technically, melodicly and brutally proficient, and that is something that I love to hear in my music. I hate that the songs all sound similar, even Hester Prynne, in some parts, sounds like other songs. Pedal-notes are obviously a key factor in their playing, and I hope that in the up-and-coming album Instinct shows some veriety in tuning, scale and riffage. I hope that they don't stay in Drop B and the B Minor Scales, I would be saddened if they hadn't improved on this in four years. If I lost, or someone stole it, I WOULD buy this album again. This band is definately worth listening to.