By Niki D’Andrea
Back in May, I launched this “You Asked for It” blog. There were so many Phoenix bands complaining that Phoenix New Times didn’t give them enough coverage, even while we’ve been covering local music extensively for more than a decade. The main reason I never reviewed EVERY local CD that came my way was because, quite frankly, many of them sucked and I didn’t feel like giving bad press to a struggling Valley band. Still, local musicians griped and moaned that we were covering all the wrong local bands (read: not their bands), so the original idea behind this blog was to review every single local CD sent to me, in the order it was received, regardless of whether or not I thought the album blew chunks. Surprisingly, I’ve only received a few CDs since the blog launch that I just wanted to melt in the microwave; many of the local CDs landing on my desk have been quite good. There’s still the occasional underwhelming effort (see this week’s review), but for the most part, I’m impressed and I want to hear more local CDs.
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This week’s review is the new CD from local emo-metallers From Dark.
From Dark The Answer to Infection (Self-Released) Nestling somewhere between metalcore and screamo/post-hardcore, From Dark sounds a lot like a bunch of other bands you’ve probably heard: The Used, Atreyu, Avenged Sevenfold, Underoath, Thrice, and Senses Fail, to name a few. The formula? Spiraling, melodic guitars; dissonant lyrics; steady drum rhythms; and vocals that alternate between singing and screaming. From Dark’s album takes its title from the ravenous zombie film 28 Days Later (a flick that also influenced local metal band Greeley Estates), and lyrically, the title track is all angst-ridden desolation, as singer Dustin Bolin screeches about “the bane of our existence,” “the brink of this obscurity,” and our “loveless nature.” Musically, the tracks show some promise -- the inclusion of a violin (check the end of “Blowtorch and a Pair of Pliers”) is a brilliant way to break out of the fast/slow/fast pack of modern metal bands, and the sparkling instrumentation and burly breakdowns in “Maleficient” highlight From Dark’s dexterity. Producer Byron Filson (Blessedbethyname, Eroticide, Ikonoklast) does a stellar job of capturing the band’s crunchier-sounding side, but for the most part, The Answer to Infection retreads tired ground and many of the tracks are indistinguishable from one another.
Next week’s review: Black Lodge