Tuesday, August 27, 2013

ReVamp - Wild Card (2013)

One of the best newcomer albums of 2010 was from the Dutch band ReVamp. Their self-titled debut was a delicate display of beautiful vocals and nice symphonic metal. They are now back with their sophomore album called "Wild Card" and in these three years, very little has changed. The symphonic sound is still there and the singer Floor Jansen (ex-After Forever, ex-Nightwish (live in the end of their latest tour)) shows once again that she is one of the stronger female vocalists in the metal world.

Just like in the previous album, "Wild Card"  has some guest appearances to boost the quality a little. We have former After Forever and present Epica guitarist Mark Jansen in "Misery's No Crime", a song that has big resemblance with just Epica. A grand epic sound that is coated with a doom like layer. A cool song, but it fits better in a Epica album. The second guest artist is none other than Devin Townsend. He lends his vocals in "The Anatomy of A Nervous Breakdown: Neurasthenia", the third and last song in the "The Anatomy of A Nervous Breakdown" series. Devin does, as always, a great job with his unique style and the song itself is the best of the Anatomy songs in this album with its heaviness. The rest of the Anatomy series is also worth checking out, especially "On The Sideline" that impresses with its crunchy riff and melodic chorus.

The rest of the album shows a good display of symphonic melodies and some decent variation. The title track impresses with its attitude in the verses and the beauty in the chorus. A mix that makes a dangerously good song. "Distorted Lullabies" may be the only ballad in the album, but it is one of the stronger pieces thanks to its strong emotions and powerful chorus. Then we also have the heavy "I Can Become" that gives the album some much needed strength.

There are no particular weak song on this album (even if I think that "Precibus" is a little too operatic), but there are not any ultra strong songs either. That is the problem with ReVamp, they miss a song that personifies them as a artist. Sure, they have a particular sound, but it is far from original. I am not saying that the music sucks, I am just saying that the band need a song that sort of takes command.

"Wild Card" is a great symphonic metal album, but I still miss that extra something to really lift it above the stars. The vocals are great, the song material is good and there is no lack of variation. So what is missing? Well, first off it is missing one song that takes command and gives the album that extra level. I also think that the instruments could try to make more of an impression. Still, "Wild Card" is a must listen for fans of Epica, Within Temptation and other female fronted symphonic metal bands.

Songs worthy of recognition: Wild Card, The Anatomy of A Nervous Breakdown: Neurasthenia, I Can Become

Rating: 8/10 Amendatories

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