Wednesday, April 25, 2012
I See Stars - Digital Renegade
I’m not going to do TOO much comparing here, but I will say that the amount of dubstep and techno elements used is far greater than ever. Most of the dubstep sounds occur during breakdowns; acting as background effects behind the crunching guitars and drums. Also, there is A LOT more screaming in this album than in the two previous records. I guess the biggest change in the overall sound is that it sounds less atmospheric; it doesn’t have as much of that mystical/trance feel that End of the World Party had.
I already know that the occasional auto-tune that the singer uses is purely for effect. Why? Because he can sing perfectly without it; he can do it in the studio and on stage. And here’s the reason it doesn’t really bother me: it’s not used during the metal parts, only the techno parts, and it fits the music because it has that electronic/digital sound that I See Stars is known for. I did make this pretty clear in my review of their second album: there isn’t really that much about I See Stars that I DON’T like, it’s just that the things that I DO like aren’t good enough to get a super high rating. The unfortunate thing about Digital Renegade is that most of the good qualities are starting to deteriorate a bit.
The biggest problem I have with this album is that even though the songs differentiate a LITTLE from each other, they still sound WAY too much alike. I had a hunch that this would be a problem before I even started listening to Digital Renegade because it’s hard to be this prolific in songwriting and still maintain a very high quality in the new material. In other words, I feel that I See Stars rushed to put this album together and finished with a product with less quality than End of the World Party. Fortunately, it’s not a disaster; but they’re really going to have to make a big step to make up for this loss.
Overall, this album has plenty of memorable moments and vibrant colors within the music, but not a lot of quality. I would recommend this album only to true screamo fans because this is far from being one of the best releases in the genre. I would give this 10/20. But if you are curious to hear this; by all means listen to it!