One of the most fascinating aspects of music to me is the amount of copycats a popular band or style spawns. Combining metal and trance has become a very popular copycat style due to the popularity of bands such as Dead by April, Eskimo Callboy and Blood Stained Child. The trick to mimicking these bands is that you want to add your own unique twist on the sound that they can’t offer, and this typically leads to something where fans become extremely divided. Enter in Dresden natives GrooVenoM, who offer up a sound similarly to the aforementioned Eskimo Callboy, who are aiming to make a namesake for themselves in the metal world with their Noizgate Records release, Pink Lion (out 04.08.16). How does the album fare to other trance metal acts, and other metal bands in general? Not well in my opinion.
Pink Lion is, most bluntly put, unique. Mixing a handful of genres and styles (Djent, Metalcore, Trance and even some Pop), you end up with an album that is all over the place in sound. This variation is good and bad; it shows a band that wanted to branch out and try different things, but at the same time you never really get a feel for what the band could accomplish if they stuck to whatever their true sound may be. The album opens with a track called “Venom in Veins” and starts the initial pulsing trance beat before breaking into djenty riffs and pounding drums. These are the most commonly found elements found on Pink Lion, but the way they are used really does vary from track to track. Instrumentally the album is very blasé, with a been there, done that sound that relies heavily upon the metalcore and djent style. Occasionally, guitarist Matt Steen throws down some great riffs and solos as heard in “Metal King” or “Unbeliever” and the band as a whole has great instrumental set pieces such as in “Bright Nights” and “Apartment 69”, but they’re unfortunately drowned out by a mediocre desire for an overall heavier sound.
GrooVenoM – NEW WAVE OF MAINSTREAM Taken from the album “PINK LION” OUT // 8th April 2016 (Noizgate Records) Merchandise: http://groovenom.bigcartel.com/ Full Album Stream on Spotify: http://spoti.fi/2aVcUKh ———————————————– Camera, Cut & Edit by Stefan Beckert Script & Concept by GrooVenoM Music & Lyrics by GrooVenoM Mixed & Mastered by Daniel Haniß https://www.facebook.com/KarmaRecordings Powered by INFEST CLOTHING: http://www.infest-clothing.com/ Follow us: https://www.facebook.com/groovenom https://instagram.com/groovenom/ NOIZGATE Records: http://www.noizgate.net/ http://www.facebook.com/noizgaterecordsofficial NEW WAVE OF MAINSTREAM!
Vocally, GrooVenoM have a mash up of delivery styles – from the occasional clean section done in the typical metalcore/post hardcore way with random spots of a more symphonic, higher pitched delivery to the majority of the album being filled with deep, brooding growls and higher pitched screams. While the vocals do fit the music, it’s not an appealing sound to many outside of fans of the genre. The true standout on the album in all aspects for me were the electronics. DJ esuz C. does an outstanding job with the creation of the synths and pulsating basslines all while wonderfully incorporating them into the music without any jarring out of place feeling. A large majority of the tracks have some elements of electronics and a few even lean heavily towards a more “trancecore” sound and when all the styles blend together, you can start to hear the potential of the band.
Coming in at 1 hour and 11 minutes, Pink Lion is a long album to get through. While I applaud the longevity the band offers up, the downside is that as a whole, it’s a very uninteresting album. There are many great moments in a large majority of the songs when the band aims for a more focused, melodic or electronic sound, but full songs that are great are few and far between. On top of the lack of standout singles, the songwriting isn’t the greatest and doesn’t really seem to have something for a listener to latch onto making it memorable. Personally, if the band focused more on finding a singular sound with substance, they could be on the cusp of something really good – unfortunately, Pink Lion isn’t quite there.