Saturday, February 4, 2012

Another Black Day - Another Black Day


I have waited almost three years to write a review on this album out of fear that I wouldn’t be able to put my thoughts into words accurately. So I decided it’s time for me to man up and attempt to tell you guys about this group. First off, I would like to say that on Spirit of Metal, I was the only member that had this band on my favorite bands list until I started telling people about them. Having discovered this album when I was primarily listening to nu metal and alternative metal (most notably Korn, Breaking Benjamin, Staind, Flyleaf, Godsmack, and Slipknot), there couldn’t have been a more perfect time for this album to be released (2008). After listening to this record almost constantly for about a year and a half, I realized that I had not heard anything from them….at all. So I looked them up and saw that the “anotherblackday.net” was gone like it had never been there (it was all pink and in Chinese) and their Facebook account had been untouched for years without any announcements or updates regarding a breakup, hiatus, or anything at all.

The commercial success of this album was minimal, with one hit song that got a reasonable spot on the U.S. rock charts; but it didn’t stay there for very long. I can tell because there isn’t anyone that I’ve shown this song to that recognized it. This is extremely shocking to me (and just about everyone I’ve introduced this band to) that they would have so little success and would just disappear out of thin air without notice of any kind (that I know of). So now that I’m done giving you the basic background of the Floridian alternative metal band, Another Black Day, now comes the part of the review I’m worried about screwing up, the music.

Where the fuck do I start?? Let’s run through a basic overview of their sound. There’s nothing too unique about them regarding to their sound; I didn’t have any trouble at all deciding what to categorize them. But even though this young band decided it wasn’t time for them to stride forth and push the limits of the genre, they still created something amazing within the realms. The guitars are EXTREMELY crunchy, making the music sound heavy as a truck-sized block of lead. This is evened out perfectly by sandpaper-rough vocals that still pierce the air with lazar precision and beauty that is filled with emotion. The drummer is amazing for a band of such little seniority and serves as a titanium-strong backbone for the rest of the band to build on top of.

The guitarists are amazing. The rhythm guitarist’s part is never repetitive, boring, or overly simple which works as an amazing background of anger and fury. The cool thing about this band is that the two guitarists take turn during solos, and I can’t tell the difference between the two. Why is this a good thing? It’s a good thing because it shows that the two guitarists are perfectly in sync with each other and think as one mind by using the same distortions, effects, styles, and complexity. This is extremely difficult to do with any instrument and has rarely been pulled off successfully (in my opinion), one of the most well-known examples of this is how all four of The Beatles got all of their singing voices to sound so similar to whenever they sing in unison, it just sounds like one person with a really powerful voice. And besides that, both of the guitarists demonstrate astonishing creativity and emotion all throughout the album.

Most of the songs seem to be about the struggles one experiences in a life of drug addiction and religious confusion. This is most apparent in the title song, Crickets, and Wicked Soul. The rest of the songs seem to basically just be venting of sadness and anger.

The song that was my favorite off the album when I first heard it and remains my favorite track is the title song, Another Black Day. This is one of those songs that pull my emotions to seemingly limitless heights. This track has literally EVERYTHING that I find attractive in music: it’s longer than three minutes, it’s filled with emotion that is heard with ease in all the instruments, it has mind-blowing vocal and guitar harmonizations, it’s progressive, it’s not repetitive, it has tons of bass, none of the instruments drown out the rest of the band, the band is tight, and they sound like a BAND, not just a bunch of musicians. This is the definition of musical perfection in my personal dictionary and I would believe that many of you can at least mostly agree with that definition. That alone should have you listening to that first track by now (if you haven’t, DO IT!).

The band shows their much heavier metal side with ultra-crunchy guitars and double kick drumming in songs like Hallowed, Anymore, Take Back, Crickets, Idols, and many more. Obviously all of the songs are in the same key, which isn’t a bad thing at all as long as the music is still kept interesting. For those of you that like the heavier alternative metal stuff, Idols is the song for you. The guitar intro pretty much shows you right off the bat that these guys mean business. I’ve never heard a guitar distortion with so much crunch in that kind of music in my life, obviously these aren’t guys that just think they’re “heavy rock with some metal”, they know they’re metal and aren’t afraid to show it. Remember, I’m probably a bigger rock fan than you so don’t think that I’ll like something less just because it’s not metal. The center of all the vocalist’s anger is confined in this track by showing tense vocals filled with frustration and hate towards our corrupted world.

The single off this album that got some air time (mainly in Florida) is Wicked Soul. Well although I’m not surprised by the fact that they got any air time at all, I’m puzzled why this was the song that spoke out to the critics as being the best song instead of the first song. Then again, besides the title track, I guess I would have to say that this is my next favorite song off this astonishing shiny disk. Wicked Soul is the only song with acoustic guitars and truly soft and melodic parts. The cool thing is that they perfectly steadily build up to the explosion of distorted guitars and gravely vocals in the chorus, but still succeed in remaining soft and ballad-like. This is actually where the singer is at his highest point, in Wicked Soul. I guess because vocals that are always belted out and almost yelled don’t speak out to me as much as softer vocals with more emotion and delicacy.

Here’s something for you power metal fans: listen to the last song and tell me what it reminds you of. Why does From the Ashes remind me of a combination of Symphony X and Nevermore?? I guess it’s because it has the song structure complexity and technicality of Symphony X and has the darkness and heaviness of Nevermore spread on top of it. Regardless of whether that sounds good to you or not, I fucking love it, and NOTHING will change that.

In conclusion, this is an album that I bought the instant I heard it in 2008 when it was released and continues to be one of my favorite albums of all time. There is still a lot of things that I love about this album that remain unexplainable. I wish I could put my FULL opinion of this album into words, but I can’t no matter how hard I try. I guess it’s one of those things where it’s not a specific trait or thing you like about it, it’s just that you feel a special connection to the music when you listen to it that you can’t explain. I know that there will be tons of people that don’t get the same connection with this band that I do, but this is still a record that you should give a good honest try before you judge it. Lastly, if there is ANYONE who knows ANYTHING about what happened to this band or where they are now, PLEASE leave a comment because I need to know. I would give this a perfect score (just in case I didn’t make it clear enough).