Attempting to be bigger than big and brimming with Linkin Park-ish bombast, Vayden are basically a metal band at its core that should appeal to those into Chester and company. Following the title track, lead singer Curtis Casey tries to master his elocution on the slow-then-fast, soft-then-hard, nu metal-ish “Karma Is a Professional Wrestler”, a title that makes sillier titles highbrow by comparison. Guitarist Armin Peterson comes to life during the beefy, meaty “The One You Left Behind” that sounds like a menacing version of Nickelback. Casey rarely distinguishes himself from the current crop of nu metal wannabes, especially on “Elysium” which brings to mind something Our Lady Peace did in their heyday. Generally, there is nothing on this record to get your knickers in a knot about with rather mundane radio-friendly rock tunes like “Fallen” that are a dime a dozen. The socio-political tone of “Anthem of the Used” also sounds like quite a reach for this group, with Casey accenting some lines much like Kurt Cobain did on “Heart Shaped Box”. If there is one highlight, it might be how Vayden go about constructing “Painted Face” with a slow but steady building of Disturbed-ing brawn.
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// Notes from the Road
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