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| 28 August 2013 | Reply

Label: Nuclear Blast Records

Release Date: August 23, 2013

Rating: 10/10

Reviewed by: Todd “Toddstar” Jolicoeur

There are discs that you love in theory and then the disc arrives in your inbox.  ReVamp’s sophomore record impresses from opening to closing note.  “The Anatomy Of A Nervous Breakdown: On The Sideline” opens the disc with an aggressive groove that hits you between the eyes and lets you know what is coming.  Soon Floor’s voice comes through the speakers and you don’t know whether to be soothed or brace for what is to come in the trilogy of tracks that relate to Floor’s burnout in the past.  “The Anatomy Of A Nervous Breakdown: The Limbic” follows and the consistency in the sound between tracks is comforting, as some melodic/symphonic rock records can seem disjointed form track to track.  The guitars and vocals are top notch and the rest of the band works well in delivering the goods on these tracks.  The way the vocals are performed and the instruments mixed really adds depth to the sound.  “Wild Card” comes along and keeps the disc on track.  The use of layers and keyboards really helps the guitars standout a bit on this track.  Once again, the vocals are crisp and demonstrate how great symphonic metal can be.  Don’t be mistaken though, this disc is about the whole package, not just the lead vocals.  “Precibus” features the operatic feel of Floor’s vocals combined with a killer rock track.  The guitars and keyboards duet nicely underneath the track, but the rhythm section really steps up on this track, especially the bass.  “Nothing” opens and the song has a softer feel than the other tracks here, but that soon dissipates and we are left with another great song that drives the symphonic metal point home.  The use of the drums and guitar to drive the verse really gives this a different vibe.  “The Anatomy Of A Nervous Breakdown: Neurasthenia” completes the trilogy that kicked the disc off.  The feel of this track comes full circle against the first two tracks and also features a cool duet with Devin Townsend.

“Distorted Lullabies” comes in like a lamb and lulls the listener with soft melodies and a beautiful piano piece with Floor’s vocals placed delicately over it.  Once the song gets rolling, we are treated to a lighter side of ReVamp, but keep in mind – it is still ReVamp and it rocks.  The real star on this track is Floor; the range she demonstrates with strength is awesome.  This is what most symphonic bands should strive for.  “Amendatory” turns the speed, energy, and rock back up.  The song opens with a killer riff that is accompanied by cool keys and a driving rhythm section.  The vocals kick in and help take you on a journey between the heavy and light, hard and soft, rock and ballad, all at the same time.  The instrument Floor yields on this track is lethal.  “I Can Become” starts off with bombastic drumming and keyboards that set the pace.  Soon the vocals and bass kick in and the song is moving right along.  The soaring vocals up against the keys really take this song to a different place.  The lack of big guitars doesn’t really affect this track.  The growling vocals are quite a contrast to the lead vocals, but one of the things that keep this song elevated, the emotion is really played out through the vocals.  “Misery’s No Crime” sounds similar to the last track, but the guitars are heavier in the mix.  The grunts supplied by Mark Jansen (no relation) are a great offset to Floor’s lofty voice during the verses and chorus.  The song has a heavier sound due to the bottom end of the rhythm section, but it fits the mood of the lyrics, vocals, and helps set the disc apart with its different textures.  “Wolf And Dog” closes the disc and helps keep things simple with a heavy bass line, drums that seem almost tribal, and the vocals we have come to expect on this disc.  The guitars work well with the keyboards on this track, but the bass really stands out through the verses.

The best part for me is the rhythm of the disc, as it has provided the background for more than one really good distance run.  Getting back to that first point about discs you love in theory… this is so much more than theory.  ReVamp has grown from the last disc and I cannot wait to see how far they take this journey.

Check out my interview with Floor Jansen leading up to the release of this disc here.

Category: CD Reviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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