The much hyped album The Color Clear by Minnesota metalcore band, Reflections, is finally upon us. Their previous release Exi(s)t was your typical metalcore album filled with downtuned guitars and an abundant amount of chugs and breakdowns. The album just didn’t resonate with me at all. With the release of their first single “Actias Luna” I found myself interested again and hoped maybe the band would prove me wrong. Once diving into the album I realized that would not be the case.
One thing you will notice right off the bat when listening to this album is a notable shift in style on some of their songs. Songs like “Actias Luna”, “Autumnus” and “Pseudo” have a very Northlane Node era feel to them. They are more atmospheric and attempt to evoke more emotion from the listener. It’s not executed nearly as well as Northlane but it is still a major improvement compared to their previous material. Their lead single “Actias Luna” has some great guitar work near the end, which makes it one of the few standout songs on the album. Their frontman Jacob also introduces a new side of himself with the inclusion of his clean vocals, which aren’t terrible but are nothing memorable.
” While making some improvements compared to previous releases, you still end up with a bland, forgettable album..”
While the more atmospheric songs are notably better than any of their previous efforts, they still are very forgettable. Other than maybe “Actias Luna” and “Pseudo” there really aren’t any standout songs on this album. Jacob’s singing sounds very artificial and because of that its hard to immerse yourself in the songs. The production seems to be an issue with the album as well. The vocals, most notably the clean vocals, always seem to be left behind while the heavily downtuned guitars mostly dominate the mix. This leaves the album sounding empty and unpolished.
The album also contains your typical metalcore songs filled with chugs and breakdowns, that only serve to keep their older fans content. These songs seem more like filler and it’s hard to differentiate between them. There was even a few times I had to check to make sure I wasn’t listening to the same song. Songs like “Sadist” and “Butterfly Effect” are prime examples of this.
It’s an album that has a hard time staying interesting despite the major shift in style. The style change makes the flow of the album very confusing. The more atmospheric songs clash with the heavier, typical metalcore songs and make it appear that the band is confused about their own identity. The lyrics are notably inconsistent in quality as well. A song like “Actias Luna” comes off emotional and powerful while a song like “Shadow Self” comes off very cheesy and hollow. Unfortunately this album falls by the wayside and does little to differentiate itself from its fellow peers in the genre. While making some improvements compared to previous releases, you still end up with a bland, forgettable album.
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