Confined Within

Ashes Of A Fallen Kingdom

Written by: PP on 25/06/2011 01:00:39

Stafford, UK-based Confined Within have been a band roughly about four years. Their mission has always been "to make really good metalcore" according to their own words, but so far their success has been limited given that their first EP "World Stops Turning" didn't turn too many heads even within their own country. "Ashes of A Fallen Kingdom" is their debut full length where they hope to have an impact on the fading metalcore scene. Unfortunately, they'll be quickly dismissed as a rather generic band, and here's why.

Their starting point is very good, an unapologetic take on metalcore that refuses to listen to the critics of the genre and relies on a tried and true formula in the genre. Lots of screamed verses, whiny emo clean vocal choruses, some breakdowns amidst slick guitar interplay, and that sort of thing. Which is perfectly fine, I love a good metalcore release as much as any fan of the genre, as long as it fulfills certain prerequisites. And this is where Confined Within have problems: pretty much all areas of their band need drastic improvement. The production is awful, resulting in a far too raw and unpolished take on the genre, where the mixer-levels sound like they need some serious adjustment. The clean singing is all too stereotypically emo/post-hardcore, not all the way from the Anthony Green school of thought but a couple of levels lower. The screams aren't powerful and striking enough. The guitars sound too sharp when they should sound slick. Oftentimes the band resorts into textbook metalcore clichés in songwriting.

Now, all of this might sound harsh, but give me a few more sentences. You see, underneath the mess that is the production and underwhelming performances from each band member lies a foundation that can very well elevate Confined Within to a serious player within the scene. Songs like "Forgotten", "We The Kings", and especially "Miles Away" sound like they could be excellent songs as long as each band member improves the execution of their own instrument/vocals. The underlying melody lines are strong and memorable, they just feel a little rushed and unproduced. The band is clearly capable of writing good melodies within their songs, but what they need to focus on next is to be better as individuals. Because the dynamics presented on "Ashes of A Fallen Kingdom" are surprisingly good and definitely promising. I find myself rocking out and singing along to "Miles Away" each time it comes on - disregarding the flaws that their performance might otherwise have. So here's my advice: work on getting a clearer, crisper sound instrumentally, and make the emo vocals stick out a bit more, and the screams more fierce, more in-your-face, and we'll be getting somewhere in a genre that I once though was dead and buried.

Download: We The Kings, Miles Away, Forgotten
For the fans of: old As I Lay Dying
Listen: Myspace

Release date 27.05.2011
Rising Records

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