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April 2010
Released: 2009, Independent
Rating: 3.0/5
Reviewer: Waspman

Walken are an interesting band out of California’s Bay Area. Formed in 1999, the band’s music is an amalgamation of sounds, ranging from metalcore, punk, and given their location, thrash metal. Over the last decade the band has forged their identity over several releases, including a demo, a full length, and an E.P. This self-titled release is the band’s second full-length release.

I know that many readers probably cringed when they read my description of Walken’s music in the previous paragraph, but trust me, don’t discount them offhand. There are some very cool songs to be found on this album. Case in point: the opening one-two punch of the thrashy “Watch It Burn” and the more melodic metalcore sound of “Nadir”. Unlike so many bands, Walken’s music immediately reaches out and grabs you by the throat. However, it’s not all mindless aggression either. WALKEN is peppered with several instrumental tracks that allow the band to stretch their musical wings. I’m not a huge instrumental metal fan, but “Thunder Paws” stands out, showing both the band’s song-writing maturity and a good sense of melody.

Some songs however, just don’t work. “Bitter Red” is blues-infused, but also very dull. “In the City of No Seasons” starts with some interesting acoustic work, but descends into rote metalcore that brings nothing new, while “The Bridge” is an over-long attempt at instrumental doom metal that goes nowhere.

WALKEN is certainly not a perfect record, but it does show a band that is willing to try new things, which is always cool. Walken is definitely a band worth checking out. Even if their appeal likely lies more with the Hot Topic crowd even long-term metal heads should give ‘em a listen.
Track Listing

1) Watch It Burn
2) Nadir
3) Running Out of Time
4) Thunder Paws
5) Bitter Red
6) In the City of No Seasons
7) Dylan’s Song
8) Right at Home
9) 1/21/07
10) Beast Toker
11) The Bridge


Shane Bergman: Bass, Vocals
Sean Kohler: Gutiar, Vocals
Max Doyle: Guitar
Zack Farwell: Drums

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» Walken
by Waspman

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