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Angry Sonnets For The Soul
Released: 2011, Universal/Fontana
Reviewer: Robert Williams
Madlife are a four piece band who play edgy modern hard rock infused with electronica/synth-pop soundscapes, creating something similar in feel to KMFDM or Frontline Assembly, albeit slightly more pop rock oriented. They also have two previous EP releases to their credit.
ANGRY SONNETS FOR THE SOUL begins with the uptempo techno pulse of lead off track "Little Ray Of Sunshine" - a tailor made radio friendly bounce that plays off dynamics and stop start verse sections. The drums are programmed and all that seems authentic musically would be the heavily processed vocals and guitar, though this is often the case with industrial metal, so it's not that big of an issue at the end of the day.
Vocalist Angry Phill does not sound as angry as you might expect, instead he acts as probably the most unique facet of this young group by not conforming to pre-conceived Trent Reznorisms or Jourgenson-esque phrasing rip offs. Instead Angry Phill takes a much less traveled road by delivering his vocals in a very flashy modern hard rock style rather than play the cliche card to death, as demonstrated by the hook laden chorus of "Everyone". Good call Phill.
At times this disc strongly resembles something akin to the criminally underrated "Generation Swine" album by Motley Crue. "Falling Apart" could have easily fit on said album with it's creepy atmosphere and electro rhythms and hooks. "I Think I'm Dead" has a soundtrack quality to it, sounding very much like the kind of stuff that would play during the credits of the next Hollywood blockbuster slasher flick. Slightly formulaic, but it works for what it is I suppose.
No doubt this record sounds heavily polished, a little too polished for my tastes indeed. These tracks have undoubtedly received the ProTools treatment from here to oblivion and as a result come across a bit sterile and monotonous to my ears. However if Powerman 5000, Rob Zombie and the like float your boat, Madlife might be for you. Not a bad release by any means, just a little too pop oriented for the discerning metal fan.
1. Little Ray Of Sunshine
3. Be Tomorrow
4. Falling Apart
5. Feeling Alone
6. I Hate
7. I Think I'm Dead
9. There I Stand
10. Tantrums Of A Giant
11. Screamin' People
Angry Phill- Vocals
Jimmy Minj- Bass
Kyle - Drums
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