I guess that since they were formed in 1998 I gotta give Germany’s Maroon at least a little credit. See, Maroon play metalcore, that very Swedish influenced metalcore that probably 95% of the local bands in North America are playing hoping to get big, while only 2 or 3 bands are even worth mentioning, let alone worth listening to. The thing is, Maroon seem to have been doing it since 1998, when most didn’t jump on the bandwagon till 2002 or so, which just so happened to be about the time the Gothenburg style caved in on itself because of the flood of bands.
Now in 2006 we have a new flood of bands, that being metalcore in North America though apparently, listening to Maroon, metalcore hasn’t strictly been for the North American bands. 2006’s WHEN WORLD COLLIDE is very much a by the numbers metalcore release, what with the straight from Sweden half-thrash fast paced riffs, screams in the Thomas Lindberg vein, interspersed clean vocals (though these are actually of some quality, especially for a band of this style), abundant use of modern hardcore breakdowns, and some very overdone lead sections used to “liven up” songs. The production is as clean as one would expect from the style, pretty much on par with any of the other newer or bigger names for the style, bass drums and cymbals are very loud, the slightly dirgey guitar sound dominates all while vocals bark overtop.
Over the course of the album the band never fails to bring the listener down an already driven path. From riffs you’ve probably heard a hundred times before coming straight from Sweden (and probably another thousand times coming from American bands like Unearth, Trivium, or Himsa) to breakdowns that are so generic, I could have sworn I’ve heard them on every American hardcore release since the mid-90’s, let alone every metalcore album in the last couple years. Take for instance the opening track, “24HourHate” which equally rips off At The Gates, God Forbid, and Unearth. Hell, that breakdown at 2:13 is unbearably unoriginal, the typical, two chugs, letting the last one ring out, before a random melodic run before going on repeat. The lyrics aren’t even that well written either, the subject matter many times coming off as a disgruntled PETA extremist, especially in the aforementioned, “24HourHate”. One good thing I can say about the album is that the clean singing section during “Annular Eclipse” is exquisitely done (unfortunately I don’t have the information to tell whether this is a guest appearance or not…), even if the rest of the song is almost completely built around constant breakdowns.
A lot of people are going to give Maroon a lot of slack on this release, just because they’ve been around since the beginning of the metalcore revolution, the problem is, nobody even knew it as this is their first album to see wide distribution on its release (prior albums saw US releases well after the fact). When even the bands that came after Maroon are exceeding them in style and song construction (and still not doing that well themselves) how can one have room for a Maroon in their CD collection?
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