Sound — 9
Dead Poetic's third album is different. Very different. In a good way. With a change of band members, Brandon Rike (vocals) and Zach Miles (guitarist) are the only members from the original lineup. Dead Poetic have also had a change in genre: they have left their previous post hardcore/screamo style behind an moved on to a rock/alternative style instead. With brilliant production this album sounds very tight. There's no messing about with Dead Poetic, the album gets straight down to buisiness with a hard hitting rock anthem, 'Cannibal vs Cunning' with a catchy and simple chorus yet intricate drums and guitar work. It makes and excellent first track. The album continues with this style in the next song 'Lioness'. There are parts of this song where Rike has replaced screaming with a more tuneful shout which works well. The third track on the album is perhaps the best, a hard driving rhythm with a brilliant tune and a great build up to an excellent chorus, again all guitar and drum work spot on. The album continues in this way through tracks 5, 6 and 7 slowly getting heavier and keeping up the tight drums and guitar work that will keep you tapping your feet and bobbing your head for a long time. 'Pretty Pretty' uses a interesting use of timing showing that Dead Poetic can pull of a song that doesn't have 4, 4 timing. Track 8 is where the album gets interesting. 'Sinless City' starts with a simple guitar riff that is repeated through the intro and verse while drums, vocals and bass are added and this is gradually built up until the second chorus where it finally unleashes it's wrath, the guitars here are excellent and so are the high harmonies, this is a definite favourite on the album. The next track, 'The Victim' is another hard rock song similar to 'In Coma' and 'Long Forgotten'. 'Paralytic' doesn't sound like DP when it sets out, but, like 'Sinless City' it builds up to an incredibly powerful chorus. 'Animals' is a very unusual track, seems like a space filler to me and not really worth listening to again. 'Crashing Down' is an excellent track with a fantastic bridge/outro, which in my opinion is the best part of the album. It grows on you with time, you will find yourself singing the chorus at very unexcepected times; ) 'Copy of a Copy' is like a better version of 'Animals' electronic beats and haunting vocals with echoing guitars. The album ends with a another slow song that builds up gradually to a powerful and brilliant song.
Lyrics — 10
Brandon Rike has dropped his screaming in this album to maintain his excellent singing which is shown off in this album. He has an excellent range from the low parts in 'Copy of a Copy' to the very high pre-chorus in 'Paralytic' all of which is spot on and very effective. His 'tuneful shouting' is also very effective in songs like 'The Victim' and 'Crashing Down'. The lyrics are very well written and they are very (dead) poetic. Lines from these songs will be seen in MSN names for a long time, such as 'I've got to cut the tube that feeds the undying need for this peace.' and 'They paint us immaculate. Ignoring the fact that we're shoving our faults in their faces. They wanted more. Of the fame, of the scripted, the same, Of the sacred, the fraud, fabricated. They wanted more.' There is also a line in 'Narcotic' that refers to the song 'Vanus Empty' from the album New Medicines. In Vanus Empty there is a line that says 'Vanity's got this new gun that she wants to try on you' and in Narcotic there is a line that says 'Vanity's gun left you dead in Hollywood.'
Overall Impression — 9
Over all the album is a brilliant one but not one that will last long, most people will listen to it a few times and put it back on their shelf. Hardcore Dead Poetic fans that listen to it over and over will probably miss the screaming vocals but the more you listen to 'Vices' the more it grows on you, so give it a chance, it is an excellent album and a step in the right direction for Dead Poetic.