Sound — 6
Since releasing their EP "Live Life" in early 2014, Capture The Crown proved to be a prime rug in the electronicore genre. The band was able to stay hot amid a label change. Now signed to Artery Recordings, the band promised to show [you] what "the REAL Capture The Crown is capable of!"
Well, my collar is now drenched with tears, knowing that their first two efforts weren't genuine according to the band. Why am I crying? I just listened to "Reign of Terror," the second album by electro-, uh, sorry about that, nu-metal band Capture The Crown. That's right, the REAL Capture The Crown has been rollin since day 1, although only recently they've exposed their significant otherside. Without the fluff, I'll warm myself to review, "Reign of Terror."
Now I know y'all be lovin' this shit right here (or not, depending of how you feel about Capture The Crown). Being a (mostly) metalcore album, "Reign of Terror" features a prominent nu-metal influence. The songs have a catchy feel to them, but unfortunately don't have the energy or raw brutality that even the most monotonous songs in metalcore have.
"Reign of Terror" starts out quietly with the song, "Reign of Terror," which is a one minute intro which, unfortunately, benchmarks the sound of the following songs on this album. Speaking of sound, Matt Good of From First To Last, along with producer Taylor Larson, produced the album. The production featured on this album is mildly engaging and entertaining; the guitars are punchy and the drums are crisp. A big change from previous works is there's no "modulation" in the songs. High-fidelity comes to mind.
Unfortunately the four-star polishing won't make the band sound better than they are. Although Capture The Crown was never a band known for their riffs, this album just makes that previous statement all but true. That doesn't mean there's nothing to take from the guitars, such as the breakdowns. The guitars are extremely low tuned.
The change of style comes at a cost. "Reign of Terror" loses key elements in the sound that made the band stand out, like the synth. It's barely used, usually to enhance the inflection in choruses, along with a few select songs. If the songs somehow take you into another mood, it won't last long. All the songs are under 4 minutes long, so they do feel at home with the car stereo. Fans of metalcore would probably be turned off from the lack of depth, but nu-metal listeners will feel right at home with such songs as, "I Hate You," "To Whom It May Concern," and the angsty titled "Make War, Not Love." Most of the songs featured on "Reign of Terror" contain an angsty, edgy, but nonvolatile sound that butt rock fans have come to know and love on the radio.
I'm not sure why Capture The Crown tried to ape the sound of modern rock radio, but I guess that's the one thing they excel at on this album. They might have overextended themselves at limiting their sonic annihilation capabilities with the campy alt-metal rap-rock inspired "Beating the Blade." It sounds a little like Jeffrey Wellfare accidentally showed up to the same studio as Linkin Park, and decided to do a guest spot.
While I'm impressed with the prowess of the band and their ability to make an album the same year they released their EP, I think they should've spent more time looking it over. It's really sad how the one acoustic song is better than every other song on the album.
Lyrics — 5
Capture The Crown have been known for their lyrics. While many have thought of the lyrics of their songs as "juvenile," they've had a handful of songs that had really great lyrics which were unfortunately overshadowed by their most popular songs. "Reign of Terror" has a few good lyrics while ultimately being drowned in cliches.
If anyone thought the lyrics were bad on Capture The Crown previous efforts, please take two Aleve before reading the rest of this review, because those lyrics are a cake walk compared to these. I bet the guy who invented cliches is kicking himself in the testes after listening to the travesties committed by many modern rock acts today.
I understand how nu-metal is supposed to be filled with anger and edge, but it gets tired real fast. When Jeffrey isn't talking about "breaking" through walls and chains, he himself is broken, but somehow talks about how [you] won't break him down? WTF. It's lyrics like these why I torched my radio. Compared to his old efforts, Jeffrey Welfare has gotten more immature, but maybe that's to fit the genre, but I don't know. I'm only listening to the music; I didn't write it.
Like I said before, the bands genre switch proved too mighty for the band as they lost some of their key elements. While Jeffrey Wellfare has more depth in his lows (with a dash of Australian flair), he seems to have lost his high fry, which is a shame. Jeffrey also dabbles lightly into rapping, which is also a feature of nu-metal.
Their is one guest appearance on this album. Cheyne Truitt lends a few verses on "Beating the Blade." Heard of him? Me neither.
Overall Impression — 5
Compared to "'Til Death" and "Live Life," "Reign of Terror" is alike and different to those albums at the same time. The switch to a radio-oriented sound is bound to be polarizing. The songs have a few differences to each other but ultimately sound monotonous and show regression in the bands skills.
The best song on this album is "Janina," which is the only acoustic song on "Reign of Terror." Not only does it have the best lyrics on the album it may rub listeners the wrong way and ruin their collar. The familiar sounding "Make War, Not Love" may also wow the listener with its back-to-back breakdowns, along with a special surprise after them. Listen to find out.
Many people want change in a band. They want to see a band "evolve" or "mature." These words have become corrupted in the scene. The only thing I see when people bring these concepts up is the band loses "culture" and becomes more sterilized and one-way with their sound. I really think they're trying to say they want to see a band "progress" and move forward. While I think they've "regressed" and oversimplified there sound. I don't want anyone to get twisted while reading the review. I don't hate nu-metal. Nu-metal was a pivotal genre in my life that ultimately pointed me to heavier genres and I wouldn't be where I was without it.
"Reign of Terror" is only a drizzle in the band's discography. While sporting a time-tested nu-metal sound, it fails to leave any lasting impressions on the listener. Is it a coincidence that 4/5 of the band left after making this album?
I feel really bad for the band and all its members and I'd only want to see them get better (no pun intended).