What do you call metalcore music that doesn’t really have a lot of screaming at all? Sages certainly aren’t a metalcore band, but this thought occurs to me when I listen to their album Sleepwalker. I mean, just like any subgenre, metalcore has meant many different things for many different bands and has evolved (really for the worst) the way other genres evolve.
Sleepwalker certainly has traits of metalcore music. The music is loud and tight, with the odd breakdown and a scream heard here and there, plus the tendency for the music to sound the same on every song. These are traits I also hear in these compositions by Sages.
The similarities is the music is something that just plagues Sleepwalker. Opening track What The Hell sets the course for the rest of the album in that musically it is much like many other songs on the album. It has a steady pace that is similar to the pace of a very many other songs on Sleepwalker, and it has simple riff power chords that only alters slightly from song to song.
Sages changes it up ever so modestly on songs like Come With Me, which adds the sound of a string section to give it an epic sound. Up To The Sky adds a lot of screaming vocals, which only adds to the metalcore comparisons if just for the one song. Free is a little softer, thanks to the inclusion of acoustic guitars, and it has a darker feel, but it eventually picks up to a pace and intensity much like all else on Sleepwalker. The longest song on the album, Wasting Away, feels a little faster, which helps the songs almost seven-minute time frame go by more smoothly than even the shortest songs on the album.
Save Yourself and Face The World both stand out because I feel Sages give these songs a more upbeat sound compared to other songs on Sleepwalker. Face The World, while not really a soft song, is the softer of the two songs with its heavy inclusion of acoustic guitars. Save Yourself has a little more to it in that it’s a little faster and it does a great job at picking up its intensity. If I had to pick a best song on Sleepwalker, it would be On My Way. It’s more of the same in respect to its structure, but it certainly has the best melodies and its instrumentation is a cut above the rest of Sages’ songs.
I’m positive Sages has what it takes to be a contender in the metal world, but they don’t show that on Sleepwalker. They show some good playing skills with their instruments and Dino Vidovich certainly has a very listenable voice, but the compositions come up flat. I feel this could be kind of an evolution of the metalcore genre. However, metalcore has been a dying genre for years now, with nothing significant coming out in quite some time and only keeping a core fanbase happy. I hope Sages evolve their own sound away from what it is now and in to something that stands out a little more.
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“On My Way”
6 (Out of 10)
|1.||What The Hell||5:44|
|4.||On My Way||4:20|
|5.||Come With Me||4:59|
|7.||Up To The Sky||5:31|
|9.||Face The World||4:09|