Over a decade has passed since metalcore first exploded onto the musical landscape and despite the initial explosion, the style has plateaued with an over-saturation of all too similar sounding and mundane bands. Recently, the genre has seen somewhat of a revival, with several bands pushing their brand of metalcore which captures the essence and excitement of the original movement. For Dutch outfit THE ROYAL and their sophomore effort, Seven, they hope to keep the resurgence alive but does this new offering do enough to keep your attention?
Thunder opens the record to a ferocious start with galloping twin guitar riffing and explosive vocal hooks leading the charge and this trend is pushed to the absolute forefront. There are echoes of metalcore’s finest names throughout Seven‘s duration and this is, arguably, the record’s greatest strength. This is a record that is jam-packed with killer vocal hooks, meaty breakdowns and slick guitar lines. Feeding Wolves boasts melodic and frantic twin guitar play akin to AS I LAY DYING for example whilst the title track’s hypnotic rhythm helps enhance the almighty breakdowns.
For all it’s power and alignment to the heavier edge of metalcore, THE ROYAL do utilise melody and it’s subtle integration to their sound proves utterly effective to helping the record sit comfortably. Rather than apply their melodic touch solely towards the vocal output, in fact THE ROYAL do the complete opposite in that record, the sparing use of keyboards and melodic framework of the guitar work helps propel Seven to a higher level. From the atmospheric Interlude to the solemn melodies in the closure of Creed and the Vultures, the sprinkling of melody underneath the surface of the band’s sonic assault helps give Seven that extra touch of class; plucking the record out of the overpopulated crowd of bands within the genre.
In a genre that has suffered with a lack of creativity in recent years, THE ROYAL have presented a record that captures the raw essence of metalcore and displays the characteristics that led to the genre igniting all those years ago. Granted, Seven doesn’t bring anything new or innovative to the playing field, but instead, focuses on what made the genre so great to begin with. And that is the record’s greatest strength.
Seven is out now via Long branch Records.
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