Sound — 4
"Welcome to Wonderland" is the sophomore release from Sea Of Treachery. After more lineup changes than the New York Mets, Sea Of Treachery entered the studio to record a follow up to their debut record on Sumerian Records titled "At Daggers Drawn." Fans awaited the release to find that their hopes of another great album had been dashed. Though the album has sporadic moments of greatness, the overall product is less than spectacular. The heavy metal sound is still there, however elements of post-hardcore outweigh a lot of the metal aspects one would expect to hear. I guess I should not have been so surprised when this album fell short of my expectations, due to their extensive lineup changes they are basically a whole new band (minus the singer Alex Huffman). I have a number of complaints with "Welcome to Wonderland." Number one being, the vocals seem completely untouched from a production standpoint. I understand wanted to get a stripped down and raw sound, but at the expense of sounding untouched and unfinished is something I will never understand. At the same time, the clean vocals are over processed and really do sound fake. I just don't understand how you as a producer can leave a certain vocal untouched and over produce another. Another negative mark on this album is that there are riffs and complete sections of songs that do not seem to match up, in one section there is a breakdown and seemly in the same section there is an unnecessary high pitched guitar fill that makes no sense in comparison to the rest of the music.
Lyrics — 5
The lyrics are probably the most interesting part of this album, because they range from realistic to mildly abstract at times. Huffman writes about being human, heroic responsibility, and about how fractured our society has become. In the track titled "Skin Deep," the writer is condemning a seeming beautiful girl for becoming a whore and how the choices she has made she must carry with her for the rest of her days. The majority of the remaining songs are all over the place; the album begins with heroism and strength and then switches to being about personal struggles with suicide and feelings that life is meaningless. It would seem that the lyrics are just as misguided as the rest of the music. As stated above, the main vocals sound untouched and are very dry, almost raspy at times. The track titled "You Only Speak in Vowels" has no screaming at all and is nothing but one long over processed rip off of Underoath style singing.
Overall Impression — 3
"Welcome to Wonderland" really does not compare to anything else Sea of Treachery has put out. I am really ashamed I shelled out the $ 9.99 on iTunes to purchase it. The only mildly impressive song is "Skin Deep" but calling it that is a stretch. The lack of production in the right places is the Achilles heel on "Welcome to Wonderland." The songs have some potential, but overall it's just a bad album all around. If it were lost or stolen I would not waste my time to track it down and buy it again.