Reforming after their last studio release eight years ago and with a seemingly revolving door when it comes to band members, you’d be forgiven for thinking that I Killed The Prom Queen might have produced a disjointed piece of work. Well, a few songs into ‘Beloved’ and we can all breathe easy as this album elevates the band back to where they should be, and that’s right at the top of the metalcore food chain.
For die-hard IKTPQ fans, this album goes back to what makes this band a fantastic proposition; the searing vocals and the pulsating guitars combine to form what is a cataclysmic explosion of beauty. What’s great though is that people who aren’t familiar with the band will love this stuff. It isn’t a love letter to the old fans, it’s a record which contextualises IKTPQ as a modern metalcore outfit rather than one resting on old laurels.
That said, if you enjoyed 2006’s ‘Music For The Recently Deceased’, which was their last studio record, then you’ll undoubtedly love this. After a somewhat sombre opening, the album properly kicks off with ‘To The Wolves’, a pacey number and one which you can imagine will be a staple in the band’s live set for years to come. It’s a song with no new tricks, the guitars chug along and the vocals are as pulverizing as you’d expect. The track serves well as a beginning for the album and sets the record up perfectly.
The band certainly haven’t lost any of their heavy style, a song like ‘Melior’ proves that this band still cut the mustard when it comes to delivering metalcore which sounds pure and not forced like so many from this genre. You notice little nuances with this band; at about two minutes in the aforementioned track, you notice how great Jonah Weinhofen‘s guitar lines sound, but there’s a subtlety to his playing and how its melded into the song. These small aspects, alongside the punishing and brilliant sound the band have produced, make ‘Beloved’ worthy of many repeated listens.
The album’s leading single, ‘Thirty One & Sevens’, packs a punch but has a seriously melodic and catchy chorus too. It really is one of the most enjoyable tracks on the album, and could prove to be the band’s most successful single to date. The band also demonstrate their ability to change the tone and the pace; ‘Kjaerlighet’ opens with the most delicate and beautifully melancholic guitars and then transforms itself into a marriage between soft and heavy vocals. This contrast works amazingly well, and the track stands out as one which is different from the majority of the album.
The only negative that you can ascertain from ‘Beloved’ is that you want more than eleven tracks. This album is a total blast, and proves that these guys still have it and more. Buy this record and turn it up, because it’s surely one of the best metal albums of the year already.
Written by Greg Spencer