Faith & Spirit – Glorious Days
Sometimes you need a band that knows exactly what it is that they’re doing and what they are. Even if their aims are humble, it’s good that they’re upfront about them, not trying to reinvent the wheel. That’s the case with Faith & Spirit, as they themselves concede that “[i]‘ts not about creating a new music style, but to pay tribute to the artists who made us want to make music.” Their new EP, Glorious Days makes this point clear, as it highlights the influences in their work, although without coming off as derivative as you’d otherwise expect.
The EP does have some low points, like “Everybody Gets it Wrong,” which sounds like an Oasis cover. Granted, Faith & Spirit name the Britpop band as an influence but… was this really necessary? I mean, it really does sound like something taken straight from 1997’s Be Here Now, it’s just that I sincerely don’t know what would make anyone think that’s a good thing.
Aside from the painful Gallagher tribute, the album is packed with some pretty solid rock with a bluesy twang (for the latter, pay special attention to closing track “Down the Road”). It’s quite reminiscent of The Black Keys, sometimes a bit too much, but it works well as a tribute to the band’s influences. The title track, “Glorious Days,” is just a terrific song, and the way in which Vivien Thielen‘s masculine voice intertwine with backing female vocals adds a great depth to what would have otherwise been a run of the mill track. It it this kind of variation, of going a bit outside the rules, that really makes this EP memorable.
Let me be clear here. Glorious Days may not be an album you’ll be talking about years from now; sometimes, however, an album doesn’t need that. Plus, this is a band created by some of the band members simply for their sound engineering studies a couple of years ago. Hell, if my university projects were half as successful as this one, I’d be the goddamn dean.
Druknroll – The Loop of World Creation
Label: Metal Scrap Records
Although released last year in Russia, this baby is doing the press circuit this year so, why not?
Opening with a piano intro, Drunknroll know exactly how to make you guess their genre before even a single riff gets started. It’s melodic death metal as far as the eye can see (as demonstrated by their choice of In Flames’ “Minus” to close the release), with a heavy emphasis placed in the atmosphere. It’s keyboards reminiscent of Children of Bodom and riffs that bring you back to the heavier days of Arch Enemy.
As melodic death metal releases go, this one does like to step outside of the box. From a few dubstep-ish seconds in “The Loop of World Creation,” to a glimpse of what sounds like a eurodance moment in “Below.” These aren’t long moments, nor do they hurt the song that contains them; they seem to simply be curiosities, added by people with a pleasure for trying different things. The same thing goes for the choruses, sometimes coming off as a bit of a chant by a weird death-metal choir. Truly amazing stuff.
Considering that their vocal style differs quite a bit, I was curious about how they’d be able to tackle In Flames‘ “Minus.” It’s a curious choice for a band that, despite sharing the Swedes’ (former) genre, don’t really sound like them. Holy shit was I wrong to doubt them. It’s a terrific tribute to one of the most important bands of the Stockholm scene and, most importantly, a testament to the versatility and skill of Druknroll.
If you’re up for something different, yet familiar, give these guys a try. They absolutely deserve your love.