I don’t usually come across a metal album like 15Reasons‘s The Art of Commitment. It’s not a traditional metal album, it’s not an alternative metal album, it’s not a thrash metal album, it’s pretty much all of that in one. The simple foundation of metal is something that the members of 15Reasons seem to know pretty well across the songs on The Art of Commitment.
The album opens with Damage Done. At first the song comes across as a bit alternative, with its crunchy and simple playing, but as the singing kicks in there is a bit of groove metal present. The song goes through a journey of heavy drum beats, very present bass riffs and surprisingly catchy vocal melodies to make for an excellent opening track.
The Art of Commitment continues with the similarly hard to categorize N.B.M.A. and the offbeat Humans Are Pollution, which gives good perspective on Nicholas Brynin‘s vocal capabilities, as he goes from his low Sully Erna-esque voice to a raspy Chuck Billy-sounding voice effortlessly. Around Me takes a few listens to truly appreciate. At first it can sound like just another metal song that borders alternative metal with traditional metal like every other track so far, but when I really listen to it, I notice it has some incredible harmonies and the catchiest of melodies so far.
Any time a band can make a song that is over eight minutes in length and keep my attention all the way through is impressive. The End of Everything does just that thanks to 15Reasons’s ability to orchestrate their songs to have multiple different verses and rather than simply playing a guitar solo, they feature more of an instrumental breakdown which is accompanied by a solo. There is a shorter edit of the song also available, but this is one song which has a long version that I can not only stand, but I also enjoy.
The Art of Commitment continues to shell out good metal song after good metal song with Mirror / Mirror and the very Godsmack sounding Worm Inside, but there are also a couple of tracks that I wouldn’t have initially felt the band was capable of given the content of the album thus far. Alyson Wonderland is full on balls out fast paced metal, like nothing else on the album and Broken Zero is the complete opposite, being the slowest song on the album. It’s the most depressing sounding of the tracks but just like Alyson Wonderland, it sounds nothing like anything else on The Art of Commitment. Of the two tracks, I wish more songs sounded like Alyson Wonderland, simply because it’s easy to typecast a band with too many similarly paced songs.
Not counting the bonus tracks (which are mostly “radio edits” of otherwise longer songs) The Art of Commitment uniquely ends with its title track. It’s unique because it’s an over nine minute instrumental. Thankfully the instrumental doesn’t quite drag on the way I’d fear a nine minute instrumental would. I mean it’s no Rush instrumental (La Villa Strangiato is what I’m referring to) but it’s still enjoyable and makes for a good closer to the album due to its uniqueness.
The Art of Commitment is one of the finest examples of an album one can simply call a “metal” album. I mean 15Reasons does lean toward the alternative metal side, but it’s the way they blend over elements into their alternative metal sound that makes them sound nothing like the Breaking Benjamin‘s or the Chevelle‘s of the world, and they definitely sound like no other independent alternative metal band I’ve ever reviewed.
“The End of Everything” – Though it’s of a slow pace, it’s not the slowest song on the album, and it’s certainly not the fastest paced one either, but damn it if The End of Everything isn’t my favourite song on the album. The fact that it’s over eight minutes on an album of predominantly four minute songs, I feel the song shows the great range of 15Reasons‘s song writing.
8 (Out of 10)
|3||Humans Are Pollution||15Reasons||6:37|
|5||The End of Everything||15Reasons||8:14|
|6||Darkest Days of Our Lives||15Reasons||1:25|
|7||Mirror / Mirror||15Reasons||5:18|
|11||The Art of Commitment||15Reasons||9:38|
|12||Damage Done (Radio Edit)||15Reasons||3:30|
|13||The End of Everything (Radio Edit)||15Reasons||4:35|
|14||I Am Not the Enemy (Damage Done EBM Remix)||15Reasons||3:28|