Touché Amoré – Is Survived By

toucheamore

Review by Mabh Savage

Label: Deathwish Inc.

Screamo! What a great word. It suits these guys much better than the Post-Hardcore label they have been given by some. This is TA’s third studio album and the second with Deathwish, home of Cursed and Kylesa. Hardcore is not really a description I would give any part of this album. In contrast to the last album I listened to, the vocals are the aggressive part of this album while the music meanders around, unsure of itself and its purpose.

From the start, I am amazed at how loose and melodic the guitars are, reminiscent of tracks lurking in the subconscious from alternative club nights where there was not a metal band in sight. The vocals, in contrast, are sharp, edgy and traumatised. And that’s it. They never change. Bolm (Jeremy, lead vocalist) is clearly upset about something, but he doesn’t really want to sing about it. He’s definitely just going to scream. In a monotone. On every single track. Screamo, see. Yes, I get that it’s a style, but surely there should be some variation?

Honestly, I found listening to this album a frustrating experience. It’s not horrible, by any stretch of the imagination, but every time I expect those floaty guitars to kick into something aggressive to match the almost metal quality of the ever present vocals, the track in question will trail off again, leaving me feeling lost and underwhelmed. Of course, if the vocals were mellower, the songs would work much better, but then TA would lose their hardcore label, and not suddenly pop up in the official metal charts, as they inexplicably did last week.

My favourite track on the album is Blue Angels (track eight) as it has some quite lovely backing vocals and actually feels like it is going somewhere. Most of the rest of the songs tend to peter off, leaving that sense of having forgotten something.

There’s not much more I can say about this. If you like screaming vocals, then this has lots of screaming vocals. And some pretty guitars. And some lovely bass riffs. But these things a rock album maketh not! As I found out today.

Rating: **/5

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