Monday, July 1, 2013

Better Left Unsaid - Self Titled

I honestly wasn’t sure what to expect with this album going into it. This is an album you can’t really judge by its rather simple cover. As it turns out Better Left Unsaid is a band that falls somewhere between the New Wave Of American Heavy Metal and Metalcore. The first track, Mr. Dark is a pretty solid song, and a good opener to get you familiar with the style the band is going for. The second track ‘My Wounds’ is what really got me more interested though. The down tuned repeated chunky riff in the beginning is darker than the opener and the ominous tone the track has just feels really cool.

Another thing I found quite enjoyable about this album is the screamed vocals. Adam Raffety’s vocals remind me a lot of Peter Dolving’s vocals, who is sadly the now former vocalist for The Haunted. Their raspy mid-range vocals sound almost exactly the same. Raffety differs though in his clean vocals, which are more radio friendly but much to my relief not whiny cries. Raffety’s cleans can go from a bit shaky, to these almost ghoulish dark vocals, like on the verses of ‘She Needs Violence’, that work rather well when cast against the slower heavier riffs of the album. There’s a ton of thrash influences on this album as well, most notable in the drum patterns; which only adds to the bands similarities with The Haunted. There’s a few parts of this album that remind me of Revolver.

The band also does a great job working with atmosphere. There’s a pretty dark and ominous tone through the entire album, the creepy opening to the track ‘The Liberator’ is an excellent example of this. The slower instrumentation combined with whispered repeated lyrics can just get into your soul.

This album is not without its flaws though. I do feel that some of the riffs during verses feel a bit rehashed throughout the album. The opener, while establishing their sound fairly well doesn’t have the best chorus on the album, along with the chorus on the final track ‘For You (Ashlyn)’. These aren’t issues that will really prevent repeated listens though, but there is room for these guys to improve.

Before this album I had never heard of Better Left Unsaid, and I’m kind of surprised by that. They are a band that would fit easily on the radio alongside of bands like Five Finger Death Punch, Slipknot and others. I know those bands get very mixed reactions all throughout the metalverse. I for one don’t really care for Five finger Death Punch, but I enjoy some of Slipknot’s work. My point though is that Better Left Unsaid has talent to surpass both of those bands and feels like something that could appeal to the audiences those bands are reaching out to. I might actually listen to the radio more often if bands like this were more frequently showcased. I can only hope bands like this start to get featured on the radio to help improve the quality of radio metal.

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