Music is brought to the audience in many different languages, and there is a question that I get more than any other question in a normal conversation about music: “But, do you understand what the singer is trying to say?”. To me personally music is universal and the language it is delivered in is just that, but this opinion is quite rare. The answer to this question often is “no” when it comes to fans of the Japanese music industry overseas.
I Promised Once creates a unique concept that puts this question to rest. At least for this band specifically. With three Japanese and two German members there is a mixture of languages to begin with, but they solve this by moving to a third language: English. There are elements of the two other languages, but the main language used still is English.
01. Succubus (feat. SHREZZERS)
02. Picture Perfect
03. Forever Lost
06. The Invasion
07. Fall of Adam 1863
08. Chaos is a Ladder
09. Break (feat. Blumio)
Succubus (feat. SHREZZERS)
Starting off the album with a style most metal fans will recognize, Succubus makes use of melodic female vocals before the actual vocals kick in, as well as the typical grunts here and there.
The intro to the album already set the tone, and Picture Perfect picks up where the previous song left off, bringing the listener further into metal with guitar play that is quite typical for the genre. Unfortunately there isn’t much more to say about it, since like I already said, it’s very typical for the genre.
While the first two songs instantly brought you into the world of metalcore, Forever Lost will tone it down more to the hardrock genre. It occasionally dips a toe back into the heavier metal genre, but it ends on a soft note to introduce the next song in the only way it can: by bringing the tempo down quite a bit, as well as the heaviness.
There is no better example of a so-called “rock ballad” than Homecoming. Putting this type of song so early on the album isn’t the best choice in my opinion, because the first few songs happily boosted the energy level, and this one will pull it right down again. The song as a whole feels slightly out of place on the album, so putting it somewhere else wouldn’t completely solve the “issue” either.
If you thought this was the end of the wild ride, you are surely mistaken, because Departed will pull you right out of the tranquility that was created only moments ago. The fast guitar notes will probably wake you right up as the song starts to play, bringing you back to the original feeling of the album. You’re thrown right back into the live show with studio quality sound, enough grunts to satisfy your metal needs, and regular vocals to back them up.
A piano opens the song, but quickly makes way for the regular programming this album seems to have. While being a slower song, it still has quite some aggression built up in it with it’s dominant use of grunt vocals over regular ones. When the regular ones do kick in though, there is a clear boost of extra power added to the song, at least on an emotional level.
Fall of Adam 1863
While it clearly is a love song, the song opens pretty cheerfully before returning to a more hardrock type of sound. You can’t exactly classify this song as a ballad, not even a hardrock one, but it is getting pretty close to that genre with both sound and lyrics. These lyrics tell a story of missing and rejection, but the instruments don’t really support the words of the song that well emotion wise. To me this makes it feel like the purpose of the song is kind of overshadowed, unfortunately.
Chaos is a Ladder
Instantly greeting the listener with grunts and a typical metal style you might think you have a different album on your hands entirely. The changes in rhythm are obvious, and quite frequent at that. Throw in a guitar solo and a mixture of grunts and normal vocals, and you have a song that breathes the essence of metalcore, easily earning the title of “most metal song” on this album.
Break (feat. Blumio)
At this point the style of the album changes drastically, just for this one song. Like the introduction of the song already says, the only way to describe this song is “metalcore meets hiphop”, highlighting the diversity of the members and their preferences, but also of their languages. The song is still dominantly in English, but they are making use of Japanese and German as well, resulting in a club-feel type of song. Don’t run away immediately though, because I said the song is a mixture of differences, and it really is just that. The highlight is the hiphop for sure, which are given a free stage to speak about the modern media in it’s words, but in German.
Starting off with a slow guitar that you probably aren’t a stranger to if you listen to metal music on a regular basis, but quickly joined by the other instruments to bring the speed up a little more. It takes a short solo before the grunts join in, followed by the regular vocals. Dominated by a heavy drums and bass sound, they move aside here and there to give the guitars some time to shine as well. Overall the song is one last burst before the album comes to a close with it’s final track.
Bringing the album to a close with a powerful piano, synthesizer and drums in the background, Salvation is a perfect ending to close off this album. It leaves nothing to be desired in terms of length or sounds, and serves it’s purpose of closure without any form of doubt.
Salvation is an album which combines several sub-genres of heavy metal, but the dominant sound still is metalcore. With the influence of hiphop in certain songs the album has a Western feel to it compared to other artists in the same genre. The album isn’t a seamless transition from song to song, but it doesn’t hinder the overall vibe. It doesn’t really add anything “spectacular” either. It’s quite safe for the genre it aims for despite the slight tone down in the early stages to the hardrock genre.
The international influence from the different members clearly returns on this album and creates a certain style, but again, it’s not exactly that renewing and quite safe overall. Despite that, it’s a fun album to listen to, and if you’re a fan of the metalcore genre you won’t be disappointed with this album being in your collection.
Final score: 65/100
Artist: I Promised Once
Release: Salvation (album)
Release date: April 11, 2018
CD number: GOME-80