Released: 2006, Metal Blade Records
Reviewer: Lord of the Wasteland
As the metalcore trend labors through its final, wheezing breaths, it is expected that bands like Australia’s I Killed The Prom Queen would emerge. Firmly hitching their (band)wagon to the front-runners of the genre, As I Lay Dying and Killswitch Engage, these guys not only have the physical role down—sleeves of tattoos, swoopy haircuts, skinny jeans, etc.—but the riffs, solos and vocals are all ripped directly from those bands’ weathered playbooks. If even a shred of originality has found its way on to MUSIC FOR THE RECENTLY DECEASED, I missed it because this album would have seemed dated in 2004, let alone 2007.
The one thing that I Killed The Prom Queen has going for them is the guitar team of Jona Weinhofen and Kevin Cameron. The riffs and solos, while completely unoriginal, do sizzle and with production and mixing by Fredrik Nordstrom (Dream Evil, In Flames, Dimmu Borgir), they are given their rightful place up front. The generic vocals of new singer Edward Butcher could have been cut-and-pasted from a Bleeding Through album and with sugary-sweet clean vocals by Weinhofen evoking memories of Atryeu, the target demographic for this band is certainly the 13-17 year old set that you see wandering wide-eyed around the grounds at Ozzfest. Even the ubiquitous breakdown, the nefarious bridge between hardcore and metal, is fumbled throughout MUSIC FOR THE RECENTLY DECEASED. On “Your Shirt Would Look Better With A Columbian Neck-Tie,” you can hear it coming well before it hits and the urgency that should be created fizzles away like flatulence in a hurricane.
Being Metal Rules’ resident metalcore “expert,” I take my lumps accordingly from the peanut gallery but even I cannot show any lenience towards I Killed The Prom Queen. MUSIC FOR THE RECENTLY DECEASED smacks of a last-minute grab at success and the transparency of this band and album should be evident to even the genre’s most fervent supporters. Those thirteen-year olds who are tired of their Atryeu albums and are still cutting their teeth on metal may enjoy a run through this album but anyone with even a shred of musical knowledge or self-respect will see MUSIC FOR THE RECENTLY DECEASED for what it is: shamelessly derivative, unoriginal and contrived.
It’s official: stick a fork in it because metalcore is done!
KILLER KUTS: None