7 Angels 7 Plagues - _Jhazmyne's Lullaby_
(Uprising, 2001)
by: Brian Meloon (9 out of 10)
7 Angels 7 Plagues fall into the rare category of hardcore bands that I enjoy -- which includes the likes of Lethargy, early Candiria and Red Tide. As you can probably guess from this list, 7 Angels 7 Plagues is far from typical hardcore. The base of their sound is hardcore played with the skill and precision of metal (a.k.a. metalcore). To this, they add (in roughly equal parts) dissonant syncopative rhythms, flowing distorted melodies, and some acoustic melodic touches reminiscent of "alternative" bands like Jane's Addiction and Don Caballero. At times, they even have a slight hint of progressive metal. The really impressive thing about this album is the skill with which they handle and blend these musical styles. The songs show some very good song development in places, and rarely do they get carried away with a certain style and let it get boring. The transitions between dissonant to melodic sections and back again rarely sound forced, and in a few places, they're even able to incorporate dissonant melodies into their melodic sections and make it sound good. The vocals are also one of the highlights of the album for me. They're similar to typical hardcore vocals (somewhere between a shout and a growl), but they have just a hint of scream to them, which gives them a distinctive sound and adds a sense of urgency and power to the music. The playing is excellent; it's very tight and quite technical in places. The production is excellent as well, as both the melodic sections and the heavy sections sound very crisp and clear. This is a very good release -- bordering on excellent at times -- and should be enjoyed by both metal and hardcore fans alike. I look forward to their future releases.

(article published 12/4/2002)

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