Dead Poetic is not quite a cookie-cutter rock band, mainly because there’s no blood-curdling wail in the opening minutes. Dead Poetic relies on strong guitar-fuelled rock that is never dull. That is for the first few tracks. This is particularly evident during the opening “Cannibal Vs. Cunning”, a song as influenced by Incubus as it is by Led Zeppelin. Just as menacing and brooding is the grittier, edgier, punk-ish “Lioness”, which rides a very fine and refined groove while lead singer Brandon Rike delivers the goods. The heavier they get, the better the songs seem to come across, especially with the thick, meaty, and catchy “Narcotic”. But things take a brief nosedive with the tired, tedious “In Coma”, which sounds like it is, well, in a coma. The only problem with the album is a couple of the songs don’t seem to push the envelope, which is true of the tame “Sinless City”, the Depeche Mode-influenced “Crashing Down” and “Pretty Pretty”. It’s a pretty song but quite forgettable, like any hair band. “The Victim” has all the hallmarks of Billytalentisonfire with some wails and lean licks. The home stretch is an improvement as “Animals” is a winding, soft-then-hard performance.
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