Common Yet Forbidden – The Struggle

Common Yet Forbidden seems to be yet another band in this suprising new trend of melodeath/metalcore that actually doesn’t suck. Like bands such as From This Day or The Priory Of Sion, Common Yet Forbidden dodges cliché just enough to keep things interesting without straying too far from the basic components of the style. ‘The Struggle’ isn’t like many other albums of the style which just steal from Unearth and The Black Dahlia Murder: this is a band that’s actually willing to stick it out there a bit and experiment with stuff that might actually alienate their audience. Heaven forbid.

So, like most of the better melodeath/metalcore, it’s actually pretty brutal. Brutal here meaning aggressive and intense, not cut time china cymbals. There’s a lot of very fast double bass and blasting, some fairly sharp tremolo riffing (also like the better bands of the style lacking sugary-sweet Gothencore melodies) and genuinely vicious vocals. Even the low vocals, a perpetual weakpoint of the melodeath/metalcore fusion, are actually employed well on this LP. The general sound wouldn’t be very far from From This Day or even Through The Eyes Of The Dead, actually, but with better coverart than the first and less melodrama than the second. Additionally, the band doesn’t pussy out of treading through genuinely dark riffs and atmospheres, like on ‘Still We Remain’, unlike other bands who just tread through mopey bullshit or meaningless displays of anger. It’s melodeath/metalcore for the death metal fan, really.

In fact, that might be what makes this cool. It feels like they’re actual metalheads playing this style, not hardcore kids. The extra dose of pure death metal does a lot to advance such an idea, and the lack of Gothenburg is absolutely refreshing to hear. The music feels genuine without having to resort to displays of pointless extremity to get such a point across: it just does its job quietly and moves along. And all the aspects really are in place: songs full of memorable sections and catchy riffs, extremely good instrumental performances, clean, heavy production, and an unwillingness to be faceless. This is one of the few melodeath/metalcore albums I’ve heard where the ‘death’ part of that genre is emphasized and not an afterthought.

So yeah, give this a go even if you normally dislike the fusion, as the added dose of death metal and lack of breakdowns might interest you where you would bail on it otherwise. It’s better than Unearth or Soilwork or whatever the kids are listening to these days. It’s melodeath/metalcore for metalheads, and thus quite cool.

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~ by noktorn on August 20, 2007.

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