Beloved Review

artist: I Killed the Prom Queen date: 02/26/2014 category: compact discs
I Killed the Prom Queen: Beloved
Released: Feb 14, 2014
Genre: Metalcore
Label: Epitaph Records
Number Of Tracks: 11
A strong comeback album after almost 8 years since their last studio effort, IKTPQ comes back with a strong effort - but was it worth the wait?
 Sound: 7
 Lyrics: 6
 Overall Impression: 7
 Overall rating:
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overall: 6.7
Beloved Featured review by: UG Team, on february 26, 2014
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Sound: IKTPQ formed in Australia back in 2000, and had some success touring and released 2 studio albums, a live album and a few EPs before "disbanding," though this turned out to just be a hiatus instead. The breakup was initiated because the rest of the band didn't want to continue without Jona Weinhofen, who had left the band to join Bleeding Through. The band got back together in 2011, though by the time of the album being recorded the only original member remaining is guitarist, Jona Weinhofen. The second guitarist, Kevin Cameron, while not an original member has been with the band for quite a while. I guess Jona didn't feel the same about continuing on without the rest of the band as they felt. There are 11 tracks on the album, with a total runtime of just under 38 minutes. The first single released from the album was "To the Wolves," which was released in December 2013. 

The album opens up with "Beginning of the End," with some clean guitars and a keyboard and some of the worst metalcore vocals I've ever heard. I think this may be due to the context because they sounded better later in the track. I'm not sure metalcore vocals were meant to be sung over clean guitars with that much empty space. "To the Wolves" opens up with some serious drumming and a guitar melody which kept me interested through most of the track. "Bright Enough" seemed like it was capturing something interesting from a melodic standpoint, much like "To the Wolves," and this is what kept my interest in this track as well. It surely isn't the mediocre vocals. "Melior" is up next, and this is another fairly solid track but once again I'm feeling let down by the vocals. "Thirty-One and Sevens" stood out as the first track where the band really seemed to use clean vocals correctly to counter the screamed metalcore vocals. "Calvert Street" is a fast and aggressive track but didn't seem to have much personality beyond that. "Kjaerlighet" was a pretty interesting track, with an almost progressive type of feel to it and more extensive use of clean vocals and an almost epic vibe to the track. "The Beaten Path" is one of those continually pummeling type of tracks, but it is executed pretty well. "Nightmares" probably stands out as one of the heavier songs on the track, but also has a lot of individual character, which makes this one of my favorite tracks from the album. "No One Will Save Us" almost won me over with the melody in the intro, but the song didn't continue to impress much past the intro melody. "Brevity" is an okay track to close the album out with. I really enjoyed Jamie's vocals on this track more than the rest of the album and I have to wonder why he couldn't perform this well on the rest of the album. // 7

Lyrics: Jamie Hope performed vocals on the album, with Jona Weinhofen provided the very-few-and-far-between clean vocals. Jamie, to my ears, sounds like as a vocalist he is just getting the hang of metalcore vocals and while he is mostly consistently mediocre he occasionally seemed to really be struggling. The great downfall of this album for me was Jamie's vocals, as I just couldn't enjoy what he was doing - when he started to win me over he would go too far into the realm of the cheesy. Oddly enough, it seemed the further into the album the better Jamie's vocals got - so I have to wonder if songs on the album appear in the same order they were recorded as Jamie got the hang of what he was doing. From what I gather, Jona does the clean vocals and while they're not earth shattering they are definitely the missing ingredient from a lot of the album. As far as the lyrics, they run the gamut a little bit, but I really enjoyed some of the lyrics. Here are some lyrics from "Thirty-One and Sevens": "Permanence was the last thing on my mind/ as I reached for your hand/ all I wanted was the chance to say/ everything you deserved to hear/ what if I told you, you were the only one/ to get inside my heart and raise my head toward the sun and/ what if I told you, that you meant more to me/ than the stars on the horizon if I were lost at sea/ you gave me a place to rest my head/ and get it all off my chest/ to sit and watch 'The Days of Our Lives'/ so young and bright eyed/ staring out at the edge of the world/ you bring me clarity/ and give me a sense of purpose/ but I remember when you'd say/ out of sight but never out of mind/ all of the words I'll never find." // 6

Overall Impression: The expression "strike while the metal's hot" comes to mind when collecting my thoughts on this album. IKTPQ had piqued my interest when they were showing up on the scene years ago, but I can't quite call up the kind of interest I had in them back in the day. Is this a solid album? Yes. Does this album standout among several other solid metalcore releases in the past 6 months or so? No, not really. I can't give a negative rating because it isn't bad, but this album isn't really knocking my socks off, either. My favorite tracks from the album were "Kjaerlighet," "Nightmares" and "Thirty-One and Sevens." For a "comeback" album this could be a lot worse, and I look forward to hearing what they do in the future. // 7

- Brandon East (c) 2014

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