So here we have the latest entry in the resurgence of melodic metal, a nice diversion from the oversaturated metalcore market. Requiem is the first full-length from this relatively young (around 20, I believe) 5-piece from Orange County, and already they show a fair amount of promise.
The disc opens with "Burn the Virgin" with a quick harmonized guitar line over pounding double bass, leading into the intro solo based around the guitar hook before finally dropping into a chugging groove for the verse. The chorus has a huge hook, somewhat watered down by an unnecessary falsetto vocal harmony. And then, about 3 minutes into the track, the song has calmed down almost into a ballad for the guitar solo. Close with the repetition of the chorus and we're out in just under 5 minutes, having laid out the elements of most of the disc.
Vocalist Taylor Armstrong generally has a fairly smooth voice, although the second track, "Through These Eyes," give him a chance to flex both a grittier singing voice and even a few metalcore-influenced shouts. Thankfully, the shouts are mostly left behind on this CD, as they sound forced, and his main vocal style works wonderfully. An exception is "Jealousy," where the raspy vocals make me cringe a bit until he gets back to the clean vocals. Guitarists Kevin Fyfe and Justin Norman get plenty of chances to show off their chops through harmonized riffs and burning solos, and have stocked the CD full of catchy riffs and melodies. And of course, bassist Matt Pauling and drummer Jeff Veta hold down the rhythm admirably--nothing that stands out particularly, but better that than stick out like a sore thumb, right?
Unfortunately for them, The Confession will probably be lumped in too quickly with the metal scene's favorite whipping boys and fellow Orange County group...Avenged Sevenfold. And it's not that far off of a comparison--check out tracks like "The End Is Near," for instance--although Taylor's vocals are stronger than those of A7X's M. Shadows. If you let that comparison turn you off though, it's your loss. This band still has room to really grown into their own sound, but for now their debut still shows plenty of talent at churning out catchy, well-executed and -polished melodic metal.