It’s telling that bands like Bring Me The Horizon and While She Sleeps can count themselves amongst influential bands now, and this is especially true with Scream Blue Murder‘s second album, ‘Rock Bottom’.
The Coventry based outfit have been paying their dues for a few years now, but there may be small signs that they’re starting to become more than just a sum of their influences.
Opener ‘Death Sentence’ is a solid slab of chant-able metalcore, with a very slight use of synth lines and a lot of hooks with the melodies and screamed sections, and it’s certainly refreshing that vocalist Aaron Bloomer avoids singing in a faux American accent, managing to have a somewhat distinctive vocal style.
‘Bury Me’ is another highlight, in spite of it being very indebted to the sound of ‘That’s The Spirit’, and the middle eight offers a nice form of respite.
Yet, while Bloomer‘s lower-pitched, restrained delivery could add something to a song such as the album’s title-track, the chorus could still have a little more weight vocally, and the chorus of ‘Light It Up’ feels very rudimentary and lacking.
There’s enough songwriting nous present, though, not just with the choruses and sing-along moments, but the double-time sections and interlocking guitar lines in the verses of ‘The Void’ offer a lot of interest.
While there’s plenty of peaks, there are also moments where it just feels a little too inseparable from other bands. Many metalcore bands have trodden this ground before, with all too familiar breakdowns and production techniques pervading. On top of that, you’re also met with songs like ‘Friends Like Judas’ and ‘Over The Line’, which both contain the archetypal metalcore pitfalls, such as the moaned vocal delivery that morphs into a growl.
Thankfully, ‘Victims Of Violence’ ends the album on a high note, with its washy synth intro leading into a double-time onslaught, and it’s also a reminder that the band can actually execute their diverse sonic palette well.
Scream Blue Murder have definitely got the potential to come into their own, and possibly write a landmark metalcore album one day. There are enough ideas on ‘Rock Bottom’, but we may have to wait a while until they’re truly realised. With a little more consistency and the right progression, Scream Blue Murder have still got potential to grow in many ways.
Music graduate from City University, partial to almost anything with ‘post-‘ in the genre description.