Ice Nine Kills

The Predator EP

Written by: IM on 08/03/2013 22:02:22

Boston based post-hardcore band Ice Nine Kills are back with their third EP, “The Predator,” to follow their two full length studio albums. Whilst often praised for their ‘unique’ hybrid of ‘pop punk, emo, post-hardcore and ska,’ they would perhaps more aptly be described as ‘generic metal-core.’ It is rather difficult to comprehend why their extremely predictable sound would be described as a ‘unique blend’ of genres. A fair description would be to say the overall style resembles a poor man’s Avenged Sevenfold, coupled with a bit of early Good Charlotte for good measure. Before continuing, it is important to point out that “The Predator” isn’t terrible, it’s just bland. The requisite genre, which it should belong to, is probably ‘coffee table metal.’ Fine in the background but an unlikely listening choice.

“The Coffin is Moving” starts out with ambitiously complicated and fast guitars then plateaus for a while as what some would pigeonhole ‘standard metal.’ Musically, it is an accomplished and well-executed track. But forgettable.

During “What I Never Learned in Study Hall” the EP mellows out to sound a lot more pop-punk, but quickly reverts back to emulating Avenged Sevenfold’s screamier material once more, with vocalist Spencer Charnas punctuating his regular vocals with what sounds suspiciously like someone impersonating M Shadows. One could easily neglect to notice a new track has started as “Father’s Day,” feels rather like a continuation of “The Coffin is Moving.” This is once more a disappointingly forgettable track. “A Reptile’s Dysfunction,” almost passes without notice too. Ice Nine Kills continue to tick off the ‘metal band’ boxes, several at a time. This is exhibited repeatedly; from the bursts of screaming vocals, which spontaneously punctuate the mellower interludes, to the use of lyrics such as annihilation. Each track would do fine as filler for an album with more distinctive elements, but instead, “The Predator” comes over as the sort of ‘off the shelf metal,’ a band might purchase as a budget package to fill up the track numbers on their next release.

One could be forgiven for thinking "I heard that you’ve settled down, you found a girl and you’re married now" sounds like something which could have been lifted straight off “The Young and the Hopeless.” The reality is in fact more controversial. Whilst metal fans are often amused by the ‘irony’ of metal bands covering pop tracks, this cover of Adele’s “Someone Like You,” conveys absolutely no comedy value to the casual listener. On closer examination, it still doesn’t. Perhaps on reviewing their choice of track to cover, will Ice Nine Kills think about this track and conclude "mistakes, they’re memories made" or that this will be an album they’d better "hide from the light"? At times it can prove entertaining to hear a metal band parodying a pop song"but sometimes it hurts instead" .

Some say EPs are the dross which didn’t make it onto the last album. If you are of this school of thought, then it might be wise not to ever listen to “Safe is Just a Shadow,” because one would infer from such a premise that if “The Predator” is a collection of reject tracks which didn’t make it onto the album, the album must be dire. EPs are obviously quite brief by nature, that’s why they’re not called ‘albums’ and this one is almost over before it has begun.

Objectivity is rather difficult concept to maintain in relation to a very generic album. To describe the aforementioned, even more challenging. Whilst there is nothing fundamentally wrong with “The Predator,” it would be best described as ‘formulaic.’ Ice Nine Kills need more originality and innovation and not in the vein of being ‘controversial’ by parodying (generic) pop songs.

If you don’t like “The Predator,” you may find yourself muttering a comment aimed at the band such as "never mind, I’ll find someone like you" because it really shouldn’t prove too difficult.


Download: The Coffin is Moving
For The Fans Of: Avenged Sevenfold, Good Charlotte

Release Date 15.01.2013

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