Band: A Past Unknown
Title: To Those Perishing
Label: Red Cord Records
Release Date: July 19, 2011
- Voice To The Willing
- The Consequence of Silence
- No Strength For The Weak
- Nothing to Hide
- Wide Is The Path To Destruction
- The Critic
- This Is Where We Meet
- What If You’re Wrong
- Philosophy Of The Dying
- Oblivious State Of Mind
- A Perfect Pledge
When I first listened to A Past Unknown’s debut full length To Those Perishing I knew I would have to listen to it again. I had to listen to it in the car, with studio headphones, with in-ear headphones, and ultimately through my computer speakers. There were several reasons for this but the biggest reason was that the quality of the production is vastly under par. Good thing this is an album review and not a production review even though that does have a lot to do with an album from being a complete waste to amazing.
Now when it comes to the Metalcore genre, the well is pretty used up. Originality has gone by the wayside and now its just a style that consist of using parody in hopes of sounding original. A Past Unknown uses a lot of this parody of various Metalcore bands to find their place. You can see the comparisons to such bands as The Devil Wears Prada and even some to We Came as Romans (without the programming). Some things work and some things don’t. What works is their clean vocals. The song where you can get a great example of the clean singing is “What if You’re Wrong”. Besides that the melodies are a little repetitive but his voice is pretty solid and you can tell he can pull it off live. What also works in this album are the delayed leads that they have through out the album. It actually seems like the only leads that they can really pull off that are good. These leads are haunting and have a creepy feel that resembles a little bit of The Devil Wears Prada.
Everything else on this album can be up for debate on whether its good, mediocre, or bad. For example the intro to the first song, “Voice To The Willing,” is a great way to begin the album but going into the first breakdown it kind of just dies into nothing. And for a band that relies on the art of the breakdown a lot of the breakdowns sound dry, empty, and somewhat misplaced from the driving parts that surround them. Now obviously you can blame the dryness and emptiness of their breakdowns on the production but you can only blame the production so much until you realize its probably not all on the producer. There are some things that just sound weird and out of place such as random drum dance beats that seem like they could have been a joke that seemed to stick.
The screamer has some pipes but for a lot of the album is very monotone. He works in his lower range for the most part however often jumps into some really nice highs that have a kind of old school tough guy sound but fit in this style. I enjoy the screams but sometimes on the album you are hoping for a break but I honestly don’t think it’s because of the screaming so much as to the quality of the production and effects of the vocals.
Songs that will more then likely catch your attention are “Wide is the Path to Destruction” and “What if You’re Wrong.” These are probably the most solid songs on the album.
Overall: To Those Perishing is a decent coming out for A Past Unknown. The album has its moments of greatness but overall is half cup. It certainly leaves the listener begging for a better produced, less generic sophomore release. Personally I had a hard time going through it the first time. It does grow on you but it is hard to find the little bits and pieces of good things through the below average quality that a band does not deserve for the money. Its the producer and bands responsibility to make your album sound amazing. Somethings that should be worked on are the technicality of guitars and work on getting better tones and for the drums to keep doing what they do best and try not to do too much. There are definitely parts on here that I believe could sound better if the production was done a bit better so I am going to give the project the benefit of the doubt and hope that these guys don’t let me down with their sophomore release.