Four unassuming guys from Chico, California are ready to take you on a monster musical adventure, led by front and back man Donovan Melero, (vocals and drums), leaving Shane Gann, Aric Garcia and John Stirrat to play the guitars.
By Martin Frank
Mental Knife opens up with Gouge Uproot, which gives a a teasing glimpse of what’s to come – an overture even. Donovan’s voice powerful strong and melodic stands high above the explosion of Linkin Park beats and screams. They’re a headbanging feast and every box is ticked, guitar struck and drum beaten – they’re one hundred percent full on and deliver everything that we’re expecting from a band practised in listening to tracks like Crawling and Papercut. Find them on YouTube and they’re ever bit as good as they sound.
Then they change, with Devotion Cuts taking us somewhere new, and it is here that they start to make the sound their own, heading towards an epic Muse sound s they keep their power. They also start to sound like Rush at times, with even hints of The Spirit of Radio layered deep within. This album grows and should fight with itself as Donovan pleads his plaintive melodies against the epic raw energy they produce, but instead it works. The Stranger in Our Pictures is a perfect example of their synergy, and Hail the Sun have clearly mastered the strange art of playing two songs at the same time and making them sound like a marriage in heaven. They also manage to keep the essence of Donovan’s stories cohesive amid the chaos around him, with it all sounding incredibly mesmerising and haunting, drawing you in to want more. There are also some old school prog rock moments as the guitars try to sing out against the story of each track. It’s new and refreshing, and A Lesson In Love again fills us with classic Rush moments before we get the screams and cries back that flesh out this track.
We truly can’t stop playing this album. It’s filled with real musical kaleidoscopic entertainment, and as it changes, twists and changes again, it shows us classy lyrics often lost in bands that scream. There are epic explosions of music to fly about in a mosh pit to as well as ones to raise our arms high in the air and sing-a-long to as well, and we reckon they would be cracking live. This is an album to download and a great car album to play off of your phone, and with eleven full length tracks time will fly past so you had better put it on repeat!