Thursday, March 28, 2013

Captain Roselyn - My Surrender Is A Victory

Captain Roselyn are a Chaotic Hardcore band hailing from Denmark, and although they are most easily labeled as a Chaotic Hardcore band it’s hard not to bring up their other influences. There’s a heavy impact from the likes of Melodic Death Metal, and modern Metalcore/hardcore like Zao, Norma Jean, and Oh, Sleeper. The band isn’t afraid of their inspirations, and make good note of where those bands succeed and blend those into their sound. However Captain Roselyn doesn’t sound like a mash of copycat sounds. They blend everything together with a heap of their own presence. They take the darker brooding atmospheres of Zao, mix it with the more chaotic tones of Norma Jean and Oh, Sleeper and throw in a spice of what I feel is pretty much a combo of doom metal and hardcore.

I love the vocals on this album, they are pretty unique in that they aren’t a typical scream/guttural/growl, it’s a very gurgled sound but not in the same way slam metal vocals are done.  The best way I can describe it is if Randy Blythe of Lamb Of God and Dan Weyandt of Zao were two halves of the same person. That may not be the best description, but you really just need to listen to it. Captain Roselyn is a Christian band, and while that is clear from the lyrics, it’s not borderline preachy like how For Today’s lyrics are. Not that there is anything wrong with that, it’s just that For today’s lyrics can get pretty cheesy at times and occasionally feel a little stereotypical as far as Christian lyrics go. I find it’s better, and often more poetic, when bands interlace the Christian themes into their lyrics via metaphors and such.

The album opens with the sound of a plane flying over and, to use a bad pun, it drops a bomb of chunky riffs on us. While the riffs are great, I do feel like the opening of the album is a bit slow, especially in comparison to the rest of the album. If the album opener had been a more explosive track that might have made the plane sound cooler. Something more in the vein of ‘Iron Sharpens Iron’, or the title track. Speaking of the title track, it’s a fantastic song, but I think this track may be one of the only times where the band may pay a bit too much of an homage to their influences. This track really feels like something that could have been a bonus track on an earlier Norma Jean record.

This album was self-produced, and while it’s definitely not perfect sounding, generally everything comes across clean, nothing really gets drowned out, and the rhythm/lead guitars work well together in the mix. There’s some small things though that I felt could use a boost, for instance on ‘Iron Sharpens Iron’ there is a small trumpet, or other brass instrument, giving a performance in the background, but it took me a few listens of the album to actual notice it. If it were a bit more present in the mix I think it’s presence would have been more appreciated.

I’ve realized by this point that a lot of what I’ve said has been critical, but I hope it’s clear that I’m not bashing the album. It’s a well-made EP,I enjoyed every song there in, and this band certainly shows a lot of promise, there’s just a few things I felt could have been done to make this album even better.
If you’re a fan of any of the bands I mentioned in the first paragraph, or are interested in hearing more chaotic hardcore goodness, do yourself a favor and check these guys out. At the price of free, you really have no reason not to!

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