Amarna Reign wants so badly to be popular. You can see it in just about everything – the constant chugging, the clean choruses, the vocal effects, the occasional use of electronics, and even the album art – it’s as if they’re on a mission to be the safest metalcore band ever. Once in a while you hear a riff or a lead that makes you think, Man, these guys could do so much better. But instead they’ve taken the generic route on their second album, “Storms,” to make sure they don’t scare any potential buyers away with progression or creativity.
Little to no improvement has been made from their debut album, “Atonement,” other than that they’ve noticeably increased the amount of breakdowns and chugs. More often than not, there’s some kind of chugging going on, which is just one of the things that make this album so dull.
The instrumentation as a whole is simply disappointing, because the bass might as well be nonexistent, and the drums don’t have a single interesting fill or pattern.
The vocals stick to basically the same low growl the entire time. While there’s nothing particularly wrong with the vocalist’s growls, he only changes it up for maybe one or two screams and some decent clean vocals, but they’re weighed down by the monotonous and boring melodies.
However, this album isn’t terrible. The saving grace is that while everything is about as generic as can be, nothing is done explicitly wrong. The riffs are actually pretty good, but since they all sound basically the same, that can’t be considered much of a strong point. There is nothing here that stands out as bad; in fact nothing really stands out. Nothing on this album really catches the listener’s attention, positively or negatively. A decent song played ten times over just makes for one painfully average album.
It’s clear that Amarna Reign could be making music worth listening to, but I don’t see that happening. They don’t want to risk displeasing fans by changing their sound. With all their potential, one must wonder: will they fulfill it, or just stick to the same ol’ thing like we’ve been seeing from them and countless other bands?
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