7 Angels 7 Plagues – Jhazmyne’s Lullaby - 4/5
What we have here is the Hardcore influenced Metalcore band 7 Angels 7 Plagues. Simply because of the moniker “Metalcore” this band seems to get thrown to the wayside in favor of the truer and more extreme sub-genres of Metal, which is truly a shame because this group has a tremendous amount of talent and showcases it extremely well. They manage to write very well composed songs that are semi-technical and not flashy. This band was short lived but they managed to churn out an EP entitled “Until The Day Breathes and Shadows Flee” and then this full length, “Jhazmyne’s Lullaby.” The five song EP lends 3 of its songs for use on this full album, though with a very different edge to them because of a new talent on vocals. It really is a shame that this band only gave us 11 songs.
This album starts off fast and hits hard with the song “A Farewell to a Perfect Score.” They waste no time in letting you know what they are about, hardly 5 seconds and you are already barraged by cacophonous drums, a melodic yet crushing riff, and a nice low scream that boarders on a growl. 7 Angels 7 Plagues wanted you to know that they could compete with the titans such as Botch and Converge right away. The breakdowns here are very clever and unique, they manage to stay away from open chord strumming over double bass rolls for the most part, and transition almost flawlessly into these breakdowns. This album progresses smoothly, transitioning from quite interludes to heavy riffs, all the way to the mellow outro that is the title track.
These guys are also not afraid to show their softer side. Throwing quite and beautiful interludes into songs that mesh seamlessly with the heavy parts of the song. A rarity that many Metalcore acts today attempt, but only manage to make the music sound forced and shallow. 7A7P also does a great job of throwing in a huge Math influence; we get changing time signatures that sound bizarre and make you pay attention, but are not even close to sounding out of place. Occasionally we get a nice spoken clean vocal interject that sometimes overlaps with the harsh vocals, another thing attempted by modern Metalcore bands that often sounds horrible but 7A7P manages to perform this feat smoothly.
The drums are defiantly the strongest point of this album. The drummer manages to pull off some insane fills and double kicks with creative beats that flow perfectly with the rest of the band. There is no triggering that I can hear and the drums take a very dominate role in the mix, sometimes even drowning out the vocals slightly. The guitars are slightly too far back in the mix, but are still audible. Very rarely is a guitarist(s) able to make such chaotic riffs but still maintain a very high sense of melody, it’s a shame that occasionally the riffs cannot be made out 100% due to the overwhelming drums and vocals.
The vocals here are executed extremely well, though the vocalist has very little range, so they end up getting slightly monotonous after a while. This vocalist has a low/mid scream that would not sound out of place in a Death Metal band, but manages to make the vocals sound shouted enough to fit with the Metalcore tag. The old vocalist who appeared on the EP had a much higher scream that sounded a little closer to the bands contemporaries Botch and Converge, the more typical HxC type scream.
For a short lived band, they were only around for 3 years, that had several lineup changes the cohesiveness on this album is astounding. Not a single member sounds out of place. This album absolutely blows any sort of stereotype of Metalcore music out of the water, as well as most Metalcore bands. Ditch what you thought about the genre and pick up this album, it will not disappoint. Just make sure to break this album up into different sittings if you tire of the voice. They can quickly become a distraction from all the good things going on in this album that they end up detracting from the overall piece.
Highlights: A Farewell to a Perfect Score; The Commentator’s Despair;
Arcadia Fades; Silent Deaths, Crowded Lives; Jhazmyne’s Lullaby
By M. Angell