Abandon All Ships


Written by: BL on 21/02/2014 01:54:43

Canada's Abandon All Ships are back in action after a subpar to obtusely terrible album in 2012 with "Infamous". On the surface of things, their latest album "Malocchio" is still the same sort of jarring synthesizer post-hardcore/metalcore of early Attack Attack! that got them noticed - a ridiculous amount of electronics, horrible screams, boy band pop choruses and thoughtless open chord breakdowns. However, in practice Abandon All Ships have decided this time to incorporate the most European sounding trance/dance influences and other electronics that in many ways resembles the latest effort of I See Stars - though nowhere near as successfully.

Evidence from opening song "Reefer Madness" initially suggests that Abandon All Ships have done little to shake the soiled imprint of "Infamous". The instrumentals are unbelievably lazy for a genre that relies on mastering one guitar string only, the song structure is incredibly predictable, and while the chorus is catchy in a lukewarm sense - it is entirely forgettable. Clean vocalist Martin Broda no longer drenches his voice in autotune effects which is a relief since he now sounds natural. Sadly, harsh vocalist Angelo Aita still screams about as emotively and intelligible as a wounded goat like on previous albums (and in fact sounds like he's getting worse with every release). Compounded by having no range whatsoever either, there is literally nothing positive to mention about his vocals.

Of course if you also don't appreciate anthemic European dance music then things are about to get a whole lot worse for you. "High Roller" and "Bloor Street West" have huge sounding synths that carry a lot of decent dance ambience, and are remarkably more layered than anything the band has done before. "Miracle" and "Cowboy" meanwhile make great use of electronic leads that have some pretty catchy melodies to go along with the cheesy choruses. The problem is that these moments as acceptable as they may be, are idiotically surrounded by such atrociously abysmal metalcore that any sense of flow from one part to another is annoyingly broken up. "Centipede" is perhaps noteworthy for when this Abandon All Ships' formula finally has nothing good left to offer - the hooks have no taste, the electronics fizzle out entirely and the beating rhythm feels utterly inane.

"Malocchio" is not quite the total disaster it could have been which itself is quite the feat given how bad their discography has been til now. That said, negative critics are hardly likely to change their minds after listening to this club dance album with breakdowns and laughably bad screaming. Admittedly, the more melodic synth driven passages do feel worlds more enjoyable though it will not be for everyone especially considering how niche Euro trance can be. You'll need a lot of patience to put up with the surrounding mess for what reward there is to gain.

Download: High Roller, Bloor Street West, Cowboys
For the fans of: I See Stars, Confide, Make Me Famous
Listen: Facebook

Release date 11.02.2014
Rise Records

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