Aaron's Agony

Lost Inside Myself

Written by: DR on 10/03/2011 20:08:36

You usually associate somethingcore, aka scene music, as part of that scene in North America; you know the one, with all the breakdowns, black hair, br00tal screams and pseudo-Gothic imagery. You wouldn't usually point to the seaside town of Savona in North Italy as a place that may offer fresh, young talent; maybe that's just the influence Hopes Die Last have had over there? Anyway, "Lost Inside Myself" is this Italian quintet's debut, and if you perked up whilst reading the opening sentence do read on.

Aaron's Agony was actually born out of the demise of the members' previous band, The Choice. Presumably the new name and identity was to symbolise a fresh beginning, which is slightly ironic given how stale their sought after sound is. On the promo sheet they hail this album as containing 'riff stomping ingenuity', however, there is very little, dare I say no, ingenuity present as they're all too keen to play it close to the well worn terrain of the scenecore genre. There's a dual-guitar attack throwing out 'meaty', metallic riffage, overlapping clean and screamed vocals, plenty of double-pedalling from the drummer, and obligatory synths and gang shouts intermittently strewn across the album.

Of course, fans of this overly-established sound won't be bothered one jot by the lack of originality, and those fans are obviously the intended demographic - way over in America. The problem is, those fans will be used to a certain stand of production that more or less every band seems to have: the screams are thick and harsh, their deepest growls, intended to make your baby sister cry - usually accompanied by a breakdown - could destroy a (tree)house, while the singer sounds overly angelic that kids swoon over them. The cynic in me is keen to discredit all of their supposed ability by brushing it all off as examples of over-production. Aaron's Agony, in the vocal department, are the antithesis to this , as they suffer from under-production. The screamer, who likes to be referred to as "Die" (no, seriously), is noteworthy in his endeavours, but his voice isn't piercing enough at his most-panicked, commanding enough at his deepest, or sharp enough inbetween for his performance to be deemed as good. Yet, he is clearly throwing everything he has at this ensuing the odd convincing scream, and that makes his performance passable. The clean vocals though, oh dear. The whole point of the clean/screamed dynamic is to offer some melody in the choruses to the heavier sections around it, making the tracks memorable; when this singer can't even carry a tune, it results in little in regards towards making the choruses and songs stick in the listener's mind.

It's a shame, because the musicianship is truly solid, if completely uninspiring. With some work, or better production, on the vocals Aaron's Agony could very well make some sort of impression on the scene across the Atlantic, even if it's only a small one. At the moment though, there are a ridiculous amount of bands in the exact same field who have come out with shinier and more polished albums than "Lost Inside Myself".

5

Download: It's Manna From Heaven
For The Fans of: Hopes Die Last, Before Their Eyes, Alesana, Escape The Fate
Listen: Myspace

Release Date 07.03.2011
Ant Street Records

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