[29 March 2010]
The metalcore scene is one that constantly reinvents itself to prevent stagnation, and countless bands have assisted in doing this over the past decade. The latest band to do this is Mutiny Within, a six-piece band from New Jersey that best exemplifies the style of progressive metalcore. Blending the intricate technical aspects of Dream Theater and Into Eternity, the soaring vocal styles of Kamelot and Firewind, and the straightforward thrash brutality of Children of Bodom and Unearth, Mutiny Within have established a completely unique sound that gives them a huge level of appeal. Their new self-titled album delivers the best of this new sound and creates a blueprint that future bands are sure to follow.
Lead vocalist Chris Clancy is easily one of the most talented singers in the metal world right now, and he draws listeners in from his place at the forefront of the band’s sound. He possesses an enormous range, reaching incredible highs without any sign of strain, and also uses his intense growl to add proper accentuation to key parts of songs. Lead guitarist Brandon Jacobs and keyboardist Drew Stavola help set the band far above many of their contemporaries musically, with complex guitar solos effortlessly weaved together with elaborate keyboard passages. Rhythm guitarist Dan Bage and bassist Andrew “AJ” Jacobs rip through riffs and lead lines with ease, keeping the sound catchy without making it cliché. Drummer Bill Fore holds the sound together with precision drumming through split-second time changes and irregular time signatures.
The diversity of the band’s sound is what makes Mutiny Within such an enjoyable album. No two songs on the album sound the same, but they are not disjointed or unbalanced either. The album flows beautifully from one track into the next, with raw aggression and gorgeous melody side by side. Opening song “Awake” sets the perfect tone for the whole album, combining sheer heaviness and technicality with a towering chorus that utilizes the full range of Clancy’s voice. “Images” and “Falling Forever” show that the band is unafraid to use more melody than heaviness in their songs, a trait that many metalcore bands refuse to show in today’s scene.
But by the same token, tracks like “Year of Affliction”, “Lethean”, and “Suffocate” show that the band is equally able to thrash just as hard as any “tough-guy” hardcore band in the modern scene. In fact, one of the best moments of contrast on the whole album occurs in the middle section, where “Lethean”, the album’s heaviest track, is bookended by two of its most melodic, “Forsaken” and “Oblivion”. When played together, these three tracks sound perfect one after the other. It’s a feat that requires a great deal of skill and maturity, both of which are surprising to see in such abundance in a band that is so young.
Although Mutiny Within’s sound relies more on melody than most traditional metalcore bands do, the band has proven that they can hold their own with almost any audience after playing shows with the likes of Paradise Lost, Soulfly, Prong, Periphery, Machine Head, Arch Enemy, Exodus, and Arsis, as well as a tour with Sonata Arctica in the works for April and May. These live credentials are further proof that the talent of this band is simply undeniable. With tracks like “Awake”, “Year of Affliction”, “Oblivion”, and “Suffocate” leading the album, Mutiny Within is a solid, powerful piece that will surely attract metal fans from all over the spectrum.