May 19, 2014 Dead by April – Let the World Know (Album review)
Sweden’s Dead By April is a band whose style is hard to define. Together now since 2007, over the course of the years, the band has combined many sub-genres of rock with electro and pop music. Their sound is rather unique and if they must be compared with any other bands, the best fit would be a combination of Linkin Park and In Flames. After the release of their self-titled debut in 2009 and Incomparable in 2011, 2014 brings audiences the band’s third album titled Let the World Know via Spinefarm Records. As described by the band themselves, the new album is darker, faster, and heavier. The difference between their old material and this new record also lays in the fact that the band has a new screamer, Christoffer Andersson, in the band, who replaces Jimmie Strimmel. With the rest of the line-up consisting of Pontus Hjelm (guitar), Zandro Zantiago (clean vocals), Marcus Wesslén (bass), the band now welcomes new drummer Marcus Rosell. Main song writer Hjelm stated, “Christoffer is very competent and really shares his positive energy. The atmosphere within the band is better than ever and everyone is really stoked about the album. It is very exciting. I usually do not like to have big expectations but the circumstances have never been as good as with this recording. It feels fantastic.”
“Beautiful Nightmare” opens the album with a combo of aggressive screaming and a melodic chorus. The synthesizer background effects add depth to the song while being reminiscent of old video game soundtracks. “Abnormal” has a more electronic sound with beats that could easily be heard on the dance hit charts, however, that vibe is immediately transferred into heavy guitars and aggressive screams. Keeping things contrasting, “Empathy” is extremely heavy with fascinating and complicated background melody.
Representing an even more electro side of their sound, “Done With Broken Hearts” highlights the diversity of Let The World Know. The hybrid of Andersson’s aggression with Zantiago’s soothing singing blossom to their fullest potential here. With compliments of some tasteful placed auto-tuning on Zantiago’s voice, the song stands tall. A gloomy yet beautiful feeling is felt on “As a Butterfly”, placing more strong emphasis on combining the screaming and melodic singing. The keyboards really brighten up the textures while the guitars have a thick and edgy distortion. “Same Star” is a 50/50 mix of heavy aggression and melodic tones with soaring clean vocals. The song hits hard when Andersson screams at rapid speed enough to satisfy the hungriest of metal fans.
Crossing genres midway through, the album’s title track is perhaps the most pop accessible of any track. Mixing acoustic guitars with electronic and orchestral elements, the chorus vocal hook is irresistible. Immediately picking up the pace, the song “Peace of Mind” brings back the heaviness with deep growls, catchy melodies, and a hint of more electro music. Opening with an atmospheric blend of sounds, “Freeze Frame” is powerful while the band experiments more with their sound in a fascinating fashion. Then, on “Infinity x Infinity”, Dead By April give listeners one of the heaviest songs of the album with massive guitar riffs while still keeping the keyboards part of the equation and a delicate balance. Keeping a nice groove, “My Tomorrow” is like a distorted version of a pop song that successfully combines melodic pop sounds with relentless screaming and guitars. The guitar chops give the feeling of breathing in and out and adds tension to the angelic keys. As the album begins to wind down, “Hold On” first comes off sounding a bit like Korn but also features some really contagious pop hooks which you cannot help but want to sing along with. That leads into the beautiful closing ballad “Replace You” with clean tones and a nice, calm ending to the energetic album.
Let The World Know is an interesting album beyond music genres. The album is a fresh breeze to what music has to offer in 2014. It is truly worth checking out and it fails to bore the listener. If confused upon first listening, many will soon become addicted to the variety of sounds, which is always a sign of a successful album. With this album, Dead By April is surely letting the world know exactly who and what they are. CrypticRock gives Let The World Know 4 out of 5 stars.