Chuck Schuldiner Project

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Warner Drive-City of Angels

As much as I like to hate on mainstream metal, there is certainly something appealing about the genre when it is done right. The hard rockers in Warner Drive understand the wonderful layers of production and melody required to craft a heavy metal record that captures the heart. Sure, it's super polished and has lots of strong harmonies, but that's the point. Warner Drive get what metal is all about, and take the formulas laid down by their musical forefathers and put it in the context of 2014. Some of the choruses may be a tad annoying, but when you consider the record as a whole, there is something distinctly impressive about City of Angels.

In a strange way, I think part of the reason that Warner Drive have captured my heart is that they are LA natives. Something about the supposed hedonism and raw heavy metal destruction has given Warner Drive the pop vibes they need to succeed. Sonically, Warner Drive is definitely metal or at least hard rock, but there are so many tasty hooks that any casual pop fan could find something to enjoy. As I mentioned before, another part of what makes City of Angels so fascinating is the multi layered production. It makes the music intricate and exciting, it simply proves the groups talent. So, as you sing along to the choruses and get latched onto punchy verses, try to possess some of your former sanity, the band is good, and sometimes almost too good.

The sole failing of City of Angels, is when it gets too deep down the 'modern metal' whole and apes bands like Avenged Sevenfold. Yet, for a band in this vein, that happens a lot less than you would expect. Warner Drive have a very clear direction, it simply hasn't fully developed yet. Something about this band though suggests to me that they are not going to be stopped. As they emphasize the poppy side of their unique take on metal these guys have the chance to make it truly big. About to embark on their first European trek the band stand on a crossroads, with a little luck they can triumph, but a slight misstep will cast them into the pits of heavy metal obscurity.

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