Sound — 10
UK tech-metal at its best: heavy, technical/progressive, melodic, catchy, and atmospheric. No Consequence acknowledges the importance of having melodic parts throughout their songs, and for that I give them props. ---------------------------------------- Once again released through Basick Records (April 1, 2013), "IO" is No Consequence's second studio album. This time around, the band decided to explore the melodic side of their music, while still keeping the music intense and aggressive. As of this album, their music style falls within the following: Progressive, Tech-Metal, Hardcore, some listeners might even classify them as djent band. ---------------------------------------- Sound/Production: The sound and production is crystal clear, easily some of the best I've heard this year. Every song has a very professional tone; the instruments are well balanced, nothing seems too faint, even bassist Tom Parkinson is clear in the mix; his skills really show on songs like "Bury the Debt" and "Sentient." Drummer, Colin Bentham did an excellent job with the drumming; his work sounds great throughout the album, sometimes outshining the rest of the band. The drums were recorded and edited by Mike Malyan (Monuments & The Algorithm?). Main composer/guitarist, Dan Reid, did a fine job with the album; he mixed, produced, and engineered it; and finally, Jens Bogren at Fascination Street Studios did the mastering. ---------------------------------------- Guitars/Styles: It's evident that both guitarists gained a great amount of experience/inspiration between releases. The guitar leads and riffs have a lot more body and depth, both, Dan Reid and Harry Edwards brought a lot of attention and detail into their work. Their guitar playing consists of: striking solo-like melodies, tapping leads, complex rhythms, fast-melodic riffs, melodic breakdowns, atmospheric notes ... there's a lot of great elements throughout the album. Songs like "Sentient," "Enemy of Logic," and "Coerce: Conform" are all great examples of what these guys have to offer, overall, the guitar work is very inspiring. ---------------------------------------- Memorable Moments/Highlights: I like how each song provides something interesting and memorable; this aspect gives the songs an equal amount of replay value. Well, here are several examples of that. "Enemy of Logic" - (Intro - 0:42) I always look forward to this song, the intro itself is very compelling; the tapping guitar lead is bound to get your attention. (3:25 - end) in this section the aggressive and faint-ambient vocals create a hopeful mood; the lyrics repeat: "We see through your ancient fallacy!" (3:44) The haunting scream in the background always gets me, as well as the lead guitar melody that follows. As the song comes to an end, it segues into the beautiful "Ether," a short and soothing ambient track (a very enjoyable piece). "Bury the Debt" - (1:14 - 1:50) This section builds up out of nowhere, yet it works perfectly; I love the simple guitar lead and the way the vocals work their way in. (3:27) Here's an epic ambient-breakdown, plus some breathtaking vocal work; there's a sense of anger and suffering in Kaan's voice, while singing the final lyrics, "Does this seem like a game to you? You'll never win us back; mark my words. I won't be the last to see through these lies." "Sentient" - (1:36) the chorus itself is very well written and pretty damn catchy: "The pieces fall into place, everything we need is here. Take what's inside you to build a better way. You're free to make your own path!" (2:09 - 2:42) This section provides an intense melodic build up leading to a simple, yet memorable solo/melody. This entire track is golden; it goes from an ethereal introduction to an intense climax, and finishes off strong. (10/10 ... a must listen.) "Illusion of Choice" - (2:05 - 2:40) this section has a very unique vocal technique, it's basically a fast-paced spoken part, which quickly develops into a full aggressive scream. The crushing guitar rhythm that follows is pretty extreme; the lead guitar that supports it creates a very inspired and soaring melody. "Coerce: Conform" - The lead single from IO. (0:53 - 1:40) this section showcases some of the best vocal work, plus some great lyrics: "Sensors for systems of surveillance: coercing conformity. Electric eyes stalk our every move. Limitless wires confine us all. Nameless corporations bleed our nations dry!" (2:47 - 3:52) this section is very creative and unpredictable; it develops as a clean ambient part and suddenly things get very intense. In addition to that, the singer provides some very intense and clean/ethereal OH's (especially at 3:40). "What Is Dead May Never Die" - Regardless of the length I really enjoy this track. It's a one-minute heavy/melodic instrumental, half breakdown/rhythm and half melodic-solo. "Unify" - (3:22 - end) this section is very uplifting, all the instruments come together to create an epic ending. The final lyrics are presented and repeated in a very anthemic way: "Break out these chains, we are one!"
Lyrics — 10
Vocals/Lyrics: One of the many things that have improved is the vocal work (both clean and aggressive). I really admire Kaan Tasan's vocal approach, especially when he executes the aggressive vocals; the lyrics remain loud and clear. The soaring melodies provided throughout the album are what make the songs very memorable; his dynamic vocals range from the uplifting melodies of "Sentient" to the more intense vocals of "Illusion of Choice" and "All That's Left." As for the lyrics, they are very inspired and well written. It's evident that a lot of thought went into the writing process. The song meanings come across clearly making the listening experience even better, overall, I really enjoyed looking through them. As a listener who likes to dig deep into the lyrics, I took matters into my own hands to explain a few songs. (I added some lyrics to go with them.) "All That's Left" - The theme to this song is very gloomy; the lyrics seem to describe a nation on the brink of despair (no hope or dreams). The future looks so bleak ... post-apocalyptic? "A nation with, no hope, no aspiration. Lost in a downward spiral, we're the ones to blame." "It comes to this, a lifeless shell for the future." "A darkened future, the light begins to fade, ever consuming; life slips away. All that we have, just created, is a world of hate." "So Close To Nowhere" - This song has a more positive message. Don't let thoughts of defeat consume you, instead learn from your mistakes and move on: "never return your mind to this place." Overall, living in the past is no good. "Self-reflective thoughts consume. Pulling deeper to the realization of failure." "Dreams are broken & shattered within a day. You have to learn from these mistakes. Dwelling on the past will get you nowhere. Move forward; don't be held back by your doubts." "Vela" - In a poetic way, this song seems to describe the final moments of mankind/end of the world. (Man-made disaster or natural disaster?) "Close your eyes and remember. In these last moments, embrace the ever-haunting wind, it flies but nothing escapes. Don't turn away to run, you'll never make it out. As the skies burn, we find peace in the flames." "This certainty, extinction is truly at our feet." "This is our final step, our final stand. Millions of faces stare at the sky waiting, the waiting twists & burns. This is the end of time." "Enemy of Logic" - This song appears to be about tyrant ruling: speaking false promises, spreading fear, and leading people away from the truth ... and finally being exposed. "You're deluded and dangerous; we won't let you indoctrinate our youth. You're a contradiction to our progress. Filling the world with fear won't help you clear the blood on your hands. Make no mistake; you deny logic with your false claims." "A beaming white light of hope passed down through the ages, selling a false promise and leading us astray. You preach of a higher power, but when has it proven it's worth." "We see through your ancient fallacy!" "Unify" - These lyrics are pretty uplifting; the song's title is fairly self-explanatory. Revolving around the ideas of breaking free and being united/equal. "We are the same blood. We are the same flesh. We breathe the same air. Forced to believe there's a difference between us." "Brother, why do you kneel before your fellow man? Disregard these thoughts; we're equal as one. Our voices will be heard." "Break out these chains; we are one!" ---------------------------------------- My favorite lines from "IO"; these few examples show how great the lyrics are. "Breathe life into these broken lungs. Never return your mind to this place. Ride the waves, what will the future hold?" - "So Close to Nowhere" "All life is lost in the remorseless flames, but the cold inside will endure. Feel the warmth from the flames brush across your face." "Vela" "We are no longer alone. Stand up, be counted, we must unify. Humanity united under the rebirth of new ideals." - "Unify" "Lost in a sea of truth, your lungs fill with doubt. This world doesn't need a savior; it needs the truth!" - "Enemy of Logic" "Is there time to turn this tide? Stuck in a world of electric distortion. Man-made lights: but not the true illumination of you." - "Sentient" "Open your eyes to the truth. There's more to life than physical value." - "Name Your Price"
Overall Impression — 10
Without question, No Consequence has surpassed their debut album, "In the Shadows of Gods" (2009). "IO" pushes the band to new heights; their performance is flawless from start to finish. The album as a whole can be described as: heavy, technical/progressive, melodic, catchy, and atmospheric, overall, it has a very distinctive sound (a great example of UK tech-metal). For fans of: The Safety Fire, TesseracT, Periphery, Volumes, Monuments, Within The Ruins, Between The Buried & Me ... you get the idea. I highly recommend the following songs: "Sentient," "Coerce: Conform," "Enemy of Logic," "Vela," and "Unify."