Dead Man In Reno

Dead Man In Reno

Written by: AP on 26/08/2006 12:47:12

Dead Man in Reno's self-titled debut album is an interesting experiment of genre crossovers, precision calculated hardcore meets mathcore and detailed guitar arrangements. Originating from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, the band has drawn inspiration from crunk, and assembled a truly unique piece of modern metal.

What immediately strikes out from beneath the brutality of their style are the many breakdowns ranging from the subtle and artistic acoustic parts to the headbanger's wet dream; slow open stringed mosh arrangements. They have even thrown a couple of clean vocals into the soup to spice up their otherwise merciless sound.

Although melody is a core element in the album, it is never accentuated, giving the work the darker than dark atmosphere that it deserves.

Dead Man in Reno's debut album is one of the more diverse ones of the genre, experimenting with a diversity of sounds. There are the stereotypical hardcore guitar parts ("From Here I Can See the Shore", "She's Tugging on My Heartstrings"), the acoustic interlude ("Given a Season of Sun"), the classic metalcore clean vocal-assisted anthems ("The Devil Made Him Do It", "Even in My Dreams"), and of course some of it all plus piano mastery in the epic "Cursed".

Even though the occasional support from clean vocals adds a nice touch to an otherwise dark hardcore album, it should never be overused. As the album progresses, the songs tend to soften up, slightly weakening the grand first impression of the album. This downplay of hardcore never manages to achieve disaster, but it does affect the overall feel of the music. Quite frankly, it seems as though this is a sorry attempt to make the album more accessible, where it could otherwise potentially thrive on its complexity and experimentation as Between The Buried And Me's "Alaska" did.

The production of the album is what ultimately downtunes the experience. The sound is not as clear as it could be, and the bass has a nasty habit of conquering all of some songs. Of course, it could be argued that in order for a hardcore band to sound hardcore, the overall sound must be low and brutal, but hey, it worked for As I Lay Dying and I Killed The Prom Queen, so it should work for Dead Man in Reno.

Overall, this is an excellent debut from an experimental young band. The band's fate now lies on the decision of whether to continue downwards into accessiblity, or to use the tools they have to forge the new "Alaska".


Download: From Here I Can See The Shore, Goodbye Tomorrow, Hello Dead Letters
For the fans of: Every Time I Die, Between The Buried And Me
Listen: Myspace

Release date 04.09.2006
Provided by Target ApS

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