|Genre||Melodic Metal (Pop Metal)|
|Country||USA (Los Angeles)|
|Release Date||8 November 2019|
Modern melodic metal is something I’ve been on board with since I first heard Amaranthe years ago. To me, pop and metal can complement each other better than anything else, when it’s done properly. The most obvious examples include albums by Chaos Magic, The Dark Element, and CyHra, where the catchiness and electronic elements achieve a balance with heavy metal energy and instrumentation. Unfortunately, LA’s female-fronted outfit Edge of Paradise bypasses this approach in Universe, instead following the footsteps of bands like Delain and Metalite.
What I mean by this is the fact that, where those first bands I mentioned have the majority of their sound rooted in metal, Edge of Paradise sit way the fuck over on the pop/alt side. There are some industrial influences within Universe‘s heavily-electronic style, but it doesn’t help at all to prevent the end result: a sound that’s weak, forgettable, and painfully one-dimensional.
However, I can’t in good conscience say that Universe isn’t metal at all, because that’d be a lie. There’s some decent riffage in a lot of the intros and transitions, such as in ‘Universe’ and ‘Face of Fear’. Plus, the instrumental finisher, ‘Burn the Sun’, is a decent metal instrumental. This hardly outweighs the non-metalness of the vocals, melodies, and straight execution, but it’s something.
While I don’t really have any favourite part of Universe, I do have a least favourite; the vocals are a complete miss for me. Especially the whispered vocals which, unfortunately, populate like sixty percent of the album. I mean, seriously, what the fuck even is that? The whole vocal delivery makes me cringe and writhe in my skin. It’s awkward. In all honesty, it was hard for me to look past them on my first listen of the album when I was trying to figure out if there was anything underneath them that would make the album worth listening to.
Which, aside from a bit of guitarwork, there really wasn’t. A bit of a waste of fucking time, if you ask me. If you want to take a break from all of the great metal that’s come out recently, give this one a spin.
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