I Killed The Prom Queen

Beloved

Written by: JWM on 15/02/2014 19:58:36

The story behind I Killed The Prom Queen (hereby known as 'Prom Queen') is one that is long and complex. After becoming a revolving door of different vocalists and arising opportunities in new bands there was no shame in Prom Queen saying goodbye in 2007. But it appears they couldn't stay apart too much longer, as four years after in 2011 the band reformed and did reunion tour after reunion tour. And after a lengthy wait we are graced with "Beloved".

Indeed, Prom Queen are dearly "Beloved", as nearly four years past before their reformation and yet all the band did was gain more attention. The success of the other members in acts such as Bleeding Through, Bring Me The Horizon, Deez Nuts and Confessions helped raise attention to the brief and particularly underground legacy of Prom Queen in the Australian hardcore scene.

And from the start of "The Beginning Of The End", an emotional opener, you feel the exact same emotions their previous records evoked; sadness and rage. But it's the well executed breakdown of "To the Wolves" that bring Prom Queen to the present without changing a single thing since 2006's "Music For The Recently Deceased". With "Bright Enough" the band introduces the clean, melodic vocals of de-facto front-man Jona Weinhofen, offering the first more contrasting element of their style. But while this element is familiar to old Prom Queen fans, it's the haunting strings of "Melior" which give that subtle and well balanced progression to the album and is clearly inspired by Jona's work with metal innovator's Bleeding Through.

However, their Gothenburg death metal influences- which were displayed blatantly in their early career- still remain strongly intact on "Beloved". Hell, the band took so many Gothenburg cues on "Beloved" that it was produced by Fredrik Nordström and they even feature the angelic singing of Soilwork's very own Björn Strid on "Calvert Street". Such influences have long departed from metalcore, but it's apparent this album isn't attempting to stay current, rather stay as a definitively Prom Queen record.

Theirs a brief moment of serenity while listening to "Beloved" with "Kjærlighet". It's the lightest the band has ever been. It showcases an element they've previously refused to incorporate into their repertoire, dominance of clean singing over screamed vocals. As it abruptly ends, the string instruments produce an overwhelming cataclysm of sound complemented by lead vocalist Jamie Hope screaming passionately, conveying a feeling of loss and depression.

Without really changing their sound the record flawlessly bridges the old and the new for Prom Queen. Taking their depressing, emo-influenced melodic metalcore and crossing it with melodic death metal and symphonic flourishes. Their growth as songwriters has helped produce anthemic and powerful metal which still stays true to their selves. Their use of string quartets and atmospheric keyboards give their sound a haunting and grandiose texture akin to Weinhofen's work with Bleeding Through and Bring Me The Horizon. On the whole, I Killed The Prom Queen shouldn't just be satisfied with this album, they should be immensely proud.

8

Download: Calvert Street; Thirty One & Sevens; Kjærlighet; Brevity
For The Fans Of: Dark Tranquillity; At The Gates; Bleeding Through; Parkway Drive
Listen: Facebook

Release Date 14.02.2013
Epitaph Records

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