Artist: Promise of Restoration
Record Label: Unsigned
Release Date: February, 25, 2012
- Narrow Minded
- A Sinner’s Prayer
- Prodigal Son
Southern California has hit a wall when it comes to consistantly good hardcore bands. The local scene has not been the same since the early 2000’s but every so often a band hits the scene hard. Promise Of Restoration has been a fixture in the SoCal Hardcore scene for the last few years playing with bands such as Sovereign Strength, Nothing Til Blood, Phinehas, and loads more. There has been much anticipation as to what they would sound like with a good recorded album. “Metanoia” came out in February after hundreds of live shows and here is the review of it.
Production for “Metanoia” is nothing to write home about. To be honest the mix and qualtiy is rather disappointing. The funny thing is that song to song, nothing stays consistant. Some songs you can hear the snare pop with good depth and punch and on others, like the song “Resovle”, the snare sounds like a dull tin can and barely can be heard through the mix of blazing guitars. On certain songs the screams sound super muffled as if the vocalist was cupping the mic or they were going for some kind of effect and others where the vocalist sounds amazing. The guitar tones at first listen may have the appearance of sounding great but the more and more the album cycles the guitars are weak and have no depth. It sounds like they scooped out the mids and dry out the tone.
Going through “Metanoia” there is a realization that musically it has a tough guy hardcore feel with a few signs of technically sound guitar playing. Songs like “Narrow Minded” and “A Sinners Prayer” remind me of something that could be on A Plea For Purging’s “Depravity” album and For Today with some good lead lines and a sweep here and there. The writing is pretty good from a guitar standpoint. Nothing too original but the hooks are catchy enough that the listener can expect to hum some of these parts for a while.
While the writing of the music may be good, the performance is not a desirable one from the band. From a musical standpoint, there is some sloppy sections that cannot be missed. A few drum fills that could have had some extra takes or a random guitar pop that can easily be recognized as misplaced. There are somethings that are done that feel off tempo making the music either slow down or speed up leaving me to wonder if there was a click track used in the recording proccess. At some points the drums do not mix with what the guitars are doing and at the end some of the clean singing is a tad pitchy. I am sure there are good reasons for the sloppy play. Either being rushed through the process, not keeping an ear out for mishaps, or by not coming into the studio as prepared as a band should.
What saves “Metanoia” for me would have to be the vocals. The screams are not consistantly good as one would expect from a studio recorded album, but for the most part they come at you strong and heavy. Such power is displayed on songs like “A Sinners Prayer” and “Narrow Minded.” This is not a surprise as the screams are usually the most powerful thing Promise of Restoration offers live. On “Metanoia” they are not captured as well as they could have been recorded but are good enough.
Overall: A pretty inconsistent album from Southern California’s own Promise of Restoration. “Metanoia” is super heavy and the screams are great but musically is sloppy and at times gets a bit boring. The spiritual message is strong and if you listen for the message more then the music then this may be the album for you. However as a whole this can be a good learning experience for the band for the next record. There is a silver lining because they do know what they want to sound like and have some quality parts, but the sloppy play and production brings the value of this album down quite a lot. It has it’s good moments, it’s so so moments, and it’s bad moments but it is not consistently anything which hinders the album from getting an at least decent score.