Story Of The Year

The Constant

Written by: PP on 22/02/2010 00:53:31

In case you were wondering, Story Of The Year are still around, writing and releasing albums about every second year or so. Two years have passed since the release of their mediocre third album "The Black Swan" that saw a band trying to balance halfway between screamed hardcore punk and anthemic emocore, resulting in an unfocused and, frankly, boring effort that quickly started gathering dust on most shelves. Sadly, the band hasn't improved at all on "The Constant", which largely feels like a track-by-track clone of "The Black Swan", except here their desire to write stadium-sized emo rock in the vein of "Page Avenue" without entirely leaving the screamed punk rock of "In The Wake Of Determination" is in spotlight even more than it was before.

Precisely how "Choose Your Fate" opened "The Black Swan", "The Children Sing" opens the album by being the hardest, most 'trendy' track on the record, featuring crunchy, heavy riffs and a melancholic child gang choir resembling the one used by Greeley Estates on "Go West Young Man, Let The Evil Go East". The choir or the heavy instrumentation are never to be seen again on the rest of the record, where Story Of The Year essentially sums up their previous three records. Lead single "I'm Alive", for instance, is comparable to tracks like "Until The Day I Die" with its arena rock riffs and anthemic vocals, and "The Dream Is Over" sounds like a faster paced track from the same album, complete with a massive chorus and a melodic sing along section.

On the opposite end of the spectrum you have tracks like "To The Burial", which feature the melodic hardcore punk inspired sound of previous highlight tracks like "Meathead" and "Is This My Fate? He Asked Them" from the second album. It is here where SOTY again prove that this is the style they are really, really good at. What I don't understand is why they won't completely ditch the tired, dated arena rock oriented emocore sound of "Page Avenue" and the terribly cheesy piano ballads like "Holding Onto You" in favour of the punk-driven sound. Tracks like "Won Threw Ate" and especially the final track "Eye For An Eye" are simply fantastic; the brilliant tempo changes from frantic to anthemic and back work great, and the punk-fueled scream fests are high in both energy and urgency levels, so if the band would write an album's worth of tracks like these, they'd highly likely have a solid, memorable record. Lets hope they finally recognize their strengths and weaknesses for their next album before it's too late.

6

Download: Eye For An Eye, To The Burial, I'm Alive
For the fans of: Matchbook Romance, Senses Fail, Funeral For A Friend
Listen: Myspace

Release date 16.02.2010
Epitaph

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