By the end of 2004 there were three young alpha bands leading the metalcore pack, two of which were Atreyu and Avenged Sevenfold. The former have since moulded their racket into a tribute to Bon Jovi, whilst the latter have reinvented themselves as the new Guns ‘n’ Roses. The third band however, have remained loyal to the genre that they helped create, but have injected it with a dark, underlying aura of black metal, which they present to you with their new offering ‘Declaration’.
This sound of course is achieved through a more assertive presence of Marta’s operatic keyboards, whilst new addition and guitarist Jona Weinhofen brings a refreshingly sinister crunch to the proceedings. The album has been mixed with one goal in mind – to sound absolutely immense, and the double bass drums (which are particularly high in the mix) reverberate like a small army descending upon the CD player
Whilst some songs discreetly bleed into each other, the main factor that robs this release of its 9 or 10 star rating is the lyrical content. Schiepatti admits to suffering from a writer’s block due to his recently discovered happiness, and so his new-age-romanticism is replaced by a far less focused content. It’s true what they say – suffering spawns the best art – but this is more than compensated for as the band reveal a fresh layer of musical ability.