Biastfear – All Angels Scream

Short review:

“BiastFear brings to the table a mixture of several different genres, that some might even say shouldn’t ever be crossed. Their style, self described as “Heavy-Hop” is a unique mixture of rock, metal, hip-hop, and r&b and results in an aggressive sound that is energetic and powerful, yet flowing and melodic.” — BiastFear’s website.

Slightly longer review:

Take the overall sound of Sevendust with some R&B vocals (reminiscient of Tracy Bohnam) laid over the top, and you’ll have a general idea of what BiastFear sounds like. The Cleveland quartet’s third album, All Angels Scream, is quite the departure from the band’s earlier sound. Previously being accused of sounding too much like Fear Factory, one thing BiastFear should never have to worry about is sounding too much like anyone else.

Musically, the band is pretty tight. A large and familiar snare sound heads up the percussion section. Sevendust again comes to mind when discussing the bands guitar sound. The bass maintains a fairly clean sound and hovers between the drums and guitars, maintaining an identity of it’s own. The production on this CD is very, very good. Unfortunately, that’s not what anyone will be talking about after hearing this disc.

Of course, focus will be on the unique vocal presentation by Crystal. There’s two basic styles presented here, Crystal rapping and Crystal singing. When Crystal sings, she is very, very good. There’s no studio tricks here — she’s good. When Crystal raps, it just doesn’t sound good. Some of the songs sound like they were written to have some guy grunting or yelling over the top of them, and Crystal’s voice rapping over the top of them just doesn’t cut it. Part of it is probably the fact that her singing sounds so good, her rapping sounds mediocre in comparison.

In Throughout, My Own Enemy, Look At Me and particularly Shattered are good tracks that show off the band’s talent. The songwriting is catchy, the riffs are hummable, and the vocals are a nod back to the days when singers sang. Call me crazy, but I like it. The band cuts loose near the end of the disc with their cover of the Beastie Boys’ No Sleep Til’ Brooklyn (Cleveland), but for the most the songs hover around emotions, relationships and similar subjects.

I wouldn’t want to hear ten bands doing this style tomorrow. Taking the band at face value, they’ve done something pretty original, and at least in BiastFear’s case, it works. Worth a spin at least for the uniqueness factor.

01. In Throughout
02. Coming Down
03. All Angels Scream
04. Holding On
05. My Own Enemy
06. A Public Service Announcement
07. Look At Me
08. Shattered
09. Don’t You
10. Planet Skitch
11. Honest
12. No Sleep Till…
13. Bonus Track

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