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Metal/Prog Metal CD Reviews

Sunflower Dead

Sunflower Dead

Review by Gary Hill

There’s kind of a mainstream hard rock sound here and at times it wanders towards progressive rock. These guys are creative and talented. Surely the will appeal to fans of modern metal, but there is plenty of classic sound in their mix, too. All in all, it’s a classy album that should serve to present a great introduction to this talented outfit.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2012  Volume 5 at lulu.com/strangesound.
Track by Track Review
Make Me Drown
They fire out here with a serious modern metal sound. The vocals alternate between theatrical sounding epic metal vocals, screamed sections and more melodic metal singing. This is a strong cut that has a lot of variation and power built into it.
Wasted
Although this powerhouse is every bit as energized, it’s more mainstream in texture. The vocals are more traditional, but there are some screamed ones. In some ways, it makes me think of what Kiss might do if they were creating a somewhat extreme version of modern metal.
Ghosts
Seriously heavy, this is a great tune. It’s more mainstream modern metal in a lot of ways, but it’s got some original flavor in the mix. Those who don’t like extreme vocals will like this one better than the first couple because the screaming is pretty sparse here in favor of more melodic vocal performances
Every Breath You Take
I definitely didn’t see this one coming. It’s a metallic retelling of the classic Police tune. There aren’t many extreme vocals on this cut and it really almost qualifies as progressive rock. There are some soaring vocal performances and some great instrumental sections
The Hand That Beats You
There is definitely a goth/industrial sound to a lot of this. Still, it is modern metal with both melodic and extreme elements in place. It sometimes feels pretty close to something by Marilyn Manson, though.
Echoes
Some of the vocals on this call to mind WASP, but there are also screamed vocals. This is fairly accessible in terms of the musical structure. It’s metal, but it’s also rather catchy and melodic. It’s another strong tune and this one is, perhaps, closer to a pure nu-metal sound than anything we’ve heard to this point.
Starting Over Again
Piano opens this and it works out from there in a balladic fashion. While there are heavier section, this is basically a power ballad, done with a bit of an extreme metal edge. It is definitely evidence that these guys understand the idea of switching things up in terms of sound, power and tempo to keep an album interesting.
More Than a Habit
Arguably the heaviest and most extreme jam of the whole set, it feels even more so contrasted to the previous number. This is just plain mean.
Halo
This combines modern metal, extreme metal and epic sounds in a jam that’s quite cool. It’s not a huge change from the rest of the set, but still has a unique character.
Denial
Dramatic and theatric, this is like progressive rock meets extreme metal. It’s an intriguing tune that carries on the themes of the rest of the disc but also expands upon and stretches them.
The Point of Decision
This one is probably the most typical cut on show. That said, it’s typical of the rest of the set, not typical of any particular style or sound. It’s diverse and powerful. It’s just that by this point it’s starting to feel a bit samey. Still, there’s a cool guitar solo on the piece.
 
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