Album Review :
Maylene And The Sons Of Disaster - IV

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Artist: Maylene And The Sons Of Disaster

Album: IV

Record Label: Ferret Recordings

  1. In Dead We Dream
  2. Save Me
  3. Faith Healer
  4. Open Your Eyes
  5. Killing Me Slow
  6. Taking On Water
  7. Fate Games
  8. Come For You
  9. Never Enough
  10. Cat’s Walk
  11. Drought Of ’85
  12. Off To The Laughing Place

Maylene And The Sons Of Disaster introduced the christian metal scene to Southern Hardcore/Metal with their debut self-titled album and refined it with “II”.  They came out with “III” in 2009 with little to no progression in their music but got away with it because it had that MATSOD sound. They even had songs from “III” featured in the WWE and the WWE films feature, “Knucklehead”.  Now they have released their latest record, coincidently entitled “IV”. “IV” introduces a new version of MATSOD that we see only a few times before on previous records and that is the clean singing, melody driven Maylene

Now some people will call this change taking steps forward, I call it taking steps back. Sure the band was never the most technical. A guitar solo here, a tempo change there, but nothing to special.  But musically this album plummets to something that I would not even consider mediocre. For most of the album it feels like listening to a Steel Dragon cover band with gritty clean vocals (I know someone will get that reference).  None of the songs on “IV” contain any modern feel except “In Dead We Dream”, which in a sense of style resembles the Maylene of Old, and “Save Me”.

Not saying it is a bad thing if you enjoy that 80’s/90’s hair metal type genre, because God knows I do. It is just taking those old sounds and trying to put a modern feel to them is difficult and in this case not done with great precision. I understand that there is an attempt at making everything sound simple but good. However I hear the simple but not too much good.

One thing that is heard on ‘IV’ that has not been heard too much on previous records is Dallas Taylor doing the clean singing.  They can be heard here and there previously but they are the dominate figure on this album. Now as gritty and at times off pitch Dallas’ singing is, this is not the downfall of the album. I prefer most of the clean melody lines over some of the more screaming type melodies.  The parts where the clean singing is being featured, the music provides room for creativity. However when the more scream type vocals come out the music reverts to something Maylene of old would do and because of that it seems in an attempt to not redo old vocal parts, Dallas tries to more creative melodies in his screams but comes out cheesy.

Overall: This is not a review to compare Maylene And The Sons Of Disaster from album to album. I understand that bands will attempt to progress and try out new styles and sounds based around their own.  The problem with “IV” isn’t the fact that it is not a revamped version of former albums.  The problem is the sub par music that has been produced when one knows the potential of the musicians in the band.  This is a band that has been through a lot and now just sound like they are tired.  I know that there are some shining moments throughout “IV” but it is far and few in between to even be considered a good record.