Stand Down – Villains Parade
I may be alone in this sentiment”¦ But I, for one, sometimes tire of living in a post-nu metal world. Evolving from the furious scream/sing combo into the more modern electronic/pop n’ roll leanings has killed a lot of great bands. Linkin Park went softer, Chevelle had to redefine their entire sound”¦ Yet in “Stand Down”
I find the same angry adrenaline so potent in nu-metal without ANY of the dated clichÃ©s. No rapping, record scratching or electronics are to be found on this furiously performed, deftly written and perfectly paced record. Instead only pure, melodic ferocity is to be found here.
Hailing from Vancouver, and wielding sharp instruments, “Stand Down” is out to prove that they have something to scream at the world and you need to listen… mark my words, you do need to listen.
“Villains Parade” starts the album off on a positive note. The chorus is definitely radio friendly and recalls to the mind echoes of “Pillar” and “Disturbed.” Although “Villains”¦” is a great track, it can’t even begin to prepare you for the bands core sound that is thrust to the forefront on the fantastic:
“Suffer Kate.” “But you’re beautiful, you’re so condescending”¦ you watch me fall”¦ I don’t even want to know.” These are just snippets of the beautiful prose shining behind the gnashing howls, brutal guitar and percussion. This is also the first track you hear Ken Goode’s incredible vocal range. (At around the 3 minute mark, the Goode takes the track away with an amazing screaming vs. singing bridge that thunderously climaxes right into the chorus.)
“Eden” is the first track to showcase the incredible melody “Stand Down” is capable of infusing into their songs. The chorus is catchy, heavy and instantly memorable. The melody and vocal style remind a bit of Chevelle’s approach on their 2007 release, “Vena Sera.”
The next few tracks are equally good (if less memorable) and draw more parallels with “Killswitch Engage.” Although the last half of the album is perhaps less mainstream “radio” sounding, it is perhaps even tastier. From about “Too Far Gone” onward, the band takes on an incredibly epic and expansive sound recalling some of the later “Metallica” material and even a twinge of later “Judas Priest.”
I’d have to say “Too Far Gone” is my absolute favorite on the record just because of it’s sheer dynamic range and well paced “huge-ness.” The reverb-chamber section at around the 4:00 mark onward is stunning and emotional.
On a slightly less positive note”¦ I found “Sad Angry” to be the odd one out on “Villains Parade.” Coming off of the poetic lyrical approach of the album, it was a little off balance when “f**k” and “whore” made their way into the lyrics. Like I said before, this band is extremely talented”¦ But I think they’ll find truer success if they can keep with the clean, positive message bands like “Killswitch Engage” and “All That Remains” are still spreading. Admittedly, that’s just this reviewer’s opinion, (take it or leave it) but it’s my only negative critique.
“Stand Down” is a band well on their way, and I’d be surprised if they don’t take the “Warped Tour” by storm before long. Rock fans, keep your eyes on these guys!
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