Sound — 8
Mutiny Within's self-titled debut is densely packed with a lot of elements. Maybe that's because half the band hails from New Jersey, a fertile musical breeding ground and the other half hails from England. To call Mutiny Within a prog band isn't quite accurate, because it implies that the band is piping out noodly solos and displaying a flair for the dramatic. However, there are plenty of progressive elements on 10 song collection that must be acknowledged. Chunky riffs and complex layering of sounds populate this album, which means a Fates Warning fan will appreciate songs such as Awake or Year of Affliction as easily as a Testament or Shadows Fall fan would. There are plenty of impressive, showy riffs about two-and-a-half minutes into Images- but there is so much going on in every song that the album and your ears will be best served when listened to through headphones. There's no core, as in deathcore or metalcore, here at all; instead, Mutiny Within is a bit more forward-thinking and ultimately, risky, by foregoing barks and grunts in favor of a huge, melodic voice. We also like Falling Forever, which would please even the snootiest DragonForce fan with its bigness. And please note, we don't mean sounds like when we say that. It means there is some sort of music kinship that isn't exactly overt.
Lyrics — 8
Vocalist Chris Clancy possesses a set of pipes that'll make you weep, if you want to be a singer that hits high notes. The singer could have a future outside of metal if he so chooses, but his work on Mutiny Within is stellar. He has soaring vocals, but never sounds overly flashy or look at me! in his delivery, as some progressively-minded vocalists tend to do. The album's vocals are about 75% clean, with some layered grows throughout, but for the most part, it's the Chris Clancy Clean Vocal Show, as his voice leaves a mark and fully complements the music that he sings over.
Overall Impression — 8
It might take a minute for Mutiny Within to find its audience, because the band is new and it's increasingly harder for new bands to connect with fickle music fans. But since metal fans are known for their loyalty and their hunger for new bands, once Mutiny Within are discovered, metalheads will be impressed by the scope of their sound. Sure, it's mostly clean vocals, which a lot of metal fans turn their noses up at, but that's the style that best fits the smartly constructed music. So growl-worshippers will likely hate this. However, it's ambitious, and therefore, we'd love to see what Mutiny Within does next. That said, if you like riffy displays and peaks-grazing vocals, give this a shot.