Roses Unread is a band from Memphis, Tennessee, and while I naively always think of music from the southern east state to typically be of the roots/folk realm of things, I couldn’t be more incorrect. Seriously, I looked up other music from the area and the stuff I found ranged from my somewhat ignorantly perceived folk stuff to electro funk. Roses Unread aren’t folk, nor are they electro funk, but rather a heavy metal band, evident on their new album The Silver Lining.
With a female fronted sound, I can’t help but immediately draw comparisons to Evanescence, just if Evanescence made music a little more traditionally heavy metal/alternative metal and weren’t quite as nu metal as they were. Roses Unread vocalist Allison Teague Purifoy has a smooth and beautiful voice similar to that of Amy Lee, but she also adds power to her voice which reminds me of Janet Gardner of Vixen.
Many songs on The Silver Lining have screaming/growling vocals, something I can only tolerate but never enjoy. It takes away from what could be something a little more original and makes Roses Unread just another band with a female clean vocalist and a male harsh vocalist. While the songs with screaming/growling are more than endurable and don’t take away from my pleasure in listening to the tracks, opening track Crash and Burn‘s repeated growling of the songs title heard constantly throughout gets bothersome. What is otherwise a very well written song with a hell of an instrumental intro is subverted.
Harsh vocals aside, there is still some metal on The Silver Lining. The vocals play a huge part in Roses Unread‘s sound, especially the harmonies. Inquisition and The Onslaught both have some great vocal harmonies, but I can’t just single them out over The male vocal creates some good harmonies with Allison on some fierce tracks like Left Unsaid. I don’t know who Jacob Harlan is, but he does a fantastic job in his guest vocal appearance on Darkness Rises. Even the screaming on the Darkness Rises doesn’t sound out of place when blending it with the clean vocals of Allison.
The songs that really stand out on The Silver Lining include the slow apocalyptic track Better Off and the traditionally heavy track Basilisk. Both tracks seem to be different not only from each other but with other tracks on the album. While they have their share of vocal harmonies and the latter has some screaming in it, they don’t seem to rely on these factors to make the songs stand out and rather let the music do the talking. No songs let the music do the talking the way closing track One Eye Open does. The seven minute epic was a very good song to end the album with. It really shows some good song writing by Roses Unread. To this point, the songs on The Silver Lining have been just fine musically. They have their hooks and most of them have their memorable moments, but with an almost two minute intro, a distortedly smooth sound during its verses and an intense chorus and a solidly heavy breakdown as well as one hell of a fine guitar solo, it all adds up to be the best possible closer for the album.
The Silver Lining is a good metal album to listen to. Well produced, well played and full of a lot of songs. While Roses Unread follow the same line in most of the fourteen songs present on the album, no two songs really sound alike. I’ve made the point that things would be a little more original if the screaming and growling was brought down to a minimum. Otherwise this is a fine output of alternative heavy metal that keeps my attention up throughout.
“Basilisk” – I already singled this out along with Better Off and One Eye Open as The Silver Lining‘s top tracks, but this takes the highlight spot thanks to how true it is to the sound that Roses Unread seem to be going for while staying a league above the rest.
7 (Out of 10)
|1||Crash and Burn||4:46|
|11||Sin Is You||3:44|
|14||One Eye Open||7:00|