Review: Dead By April – Self-Titled

Sergio reviews Dead By April’s eponymous debut album.

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Artist Name: Dead By April
Album Name: Dead By April
Year: 2009
Genre: Pop Metal

Mixing pop and metal has forever been a double-edged sword for artists. While it undoubtedly expands a band’s fanbase and commercial appeal, it subsequently destroys their credibility amongst the metal community – as metal is most notorious for being anti-pop.

This leaves us with the million dollar question: can metal and pop ever be successfully combined without polarising audiences?

Sweden’s Dead By April are hoping to bridge this divide by literally turning both genres upside-down. Throwing in harsh vocals, breakdowns, Gothenburg death metal-inspired riffs amid melodic keyboard sections and glossy vocal production, DBA is quite unlike anything else I’ve ever heard. While I did pick up a hint of Makeshift Romeo in their sound, DBA are still significantly heavier – and more successful – in their line of attack. Also, before you lump them into the metalcore genre, just have a listen to the brutal ‘Angels of Clarity’ – it certainly has more in common with In Flames than Killswitch Engage, for example.

The music carries muscle and sensitivity. For the guys, it will help you solve the age-old struggle of finding music you can headbang to, while your girlfriend sings along – there won’t be any more whining of “I can’t hear what they’re singing. What’s he saying? Why is there so much screaming? Oh the noise! Blah, blah, blah…”. Bluntly, Dead My April might just be the band that will prevent you from strangling each other over time.

If someone ever says to you that Linkin Park was the first band to bridge the pop-metal divide, please do me a favour and slap the snot out of them. Regardless of your opinion of LP, they’re about as hardcore as a Twinkie, whereas Dead By April are a legitimate metal band. Proving once again that Gothenburg must have something magical in the musical waters, Dead By April is another powerful release to have come out of Sweden. Check it out.

Best Tracks: ‘What Can I Say’, ‘Erased’, and ‘Angels of Clarity’

75/100

- Sergio Pereira
sergio@musicreview.co.za
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Written by Sergio Pereira