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Johnny B. Morbid
Fall Of The Cicada
Released: 2015, Independent
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
JOHNNY B. MORBID are a Metal/Punk band, and before you ask why I'm reviewing a punk band, let me add that the band's Metal side actually overpowers its Punk tendencies, meaning that Fall Of The Cicada is filled wall-to-wall with Metal guitar riffs and lightning-fast Black Metal drumming. A Power Metal influence is also very evident via dual guitar melodies and double kick drum beats. The punk influence mostly comes through in the melodic, California Punk-inspired vocals; yet at times, even the singer takes a detour into Black Metal territory. The band is kind of O an oddity in that respect: the only band I could compare them to would be horror punkers CANCERSLUG, and even then, they sound nothing alike. The one area of similarity is that both bands use different Metal styles laced with Punk Rock vocal melodies, but while CANCERSLUG draw from THE MISFITS for their Punk stylings, JOHNNY B. MORBID draw from Punk bands like NOFX and BAD RELIGION.
One can forgive listeners if at first they believe they are listening to a Power Metal band during the opening seconds of Fall of The Cicada begins: "True Believer" kicks things off with a powerful lead guitar break that leads into a blast beat section. However, as mentioned earlier, the vocals are the most salient Punk element throughout. If listeners can get over the style employed by the singer on top of these Power Metal and Black Metal arrangements, then you will enjoy the rest of the album. The closest the band comes to playing straight Punk is "Before I Fade", in which the band does not employ any blast beats or dual guitar melodies. On the other hand, the title track is a straight ahead Power Metal number, and one of the highlights of the album. "Crucifiction" contains an interesting moment mentioned earlier when the vocals take a Black Metal turn.
Listener's enjoyment of JOHNNY B. MORBID's Fall of Cicada will depend on how much they can stand the band's experimental mixture of Punk and Metal across the board. I find the experiment quite interesting, yet the band could've also implemented some of their very metallic influence on the vocals, maybe balancing some more aggressive parts with the vocal melodies in order to flesh out that Melodic Punk/ Black Metal mixture even more. As it is, however, the band does a good job at taking these disparate elements and actually making these work.
1. True Believer
2. Before I Fade
5. Above and Beyond
6. It Came From The North
7. Future In Flames
8. Fear Itself
9. In The Unknown
10. Fall of the Cicada
Christopher Jay -Acoustic Guitar [Additional Acoustic Guitar], Vocals [Additional Vocals]
Miles Austin - Drums
Count Vlad Cadmus – Guitar [Additional Guitar], Vocals [Additional Vocals]
Johnny B. Morbid - Lead Vocals, Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Bass, Producer, Written By [All Tracks Written By]
Rick Flanegan - Vocals [Additional Vocals]
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