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CD Review: I Promised Once – Salvation

After the release of “The Awakening” Promised Once didn’t decide to stop there. Their newest release is a full length album titled “Salvation” and contains 11 tracks in which they see what they can do best: metalcore.

Tracklist:
01. Succubus (feat. SHREZZERS)
02. Picture Perfect
03. Forever Lost
04. Homecoming
05. Departed
06. The Invasion
07. Fall of Adam 1863
08. Chaos is a Ladder
09. Break (feat. Blumio)
10. Lucifer
11. Salvation

Music is brought to the audience in many different languages. As a fan of Japanese music you’ve probably heard this before: “But do you actually understand what he/she is singing about?”. For many of us the answer to that question is “no”, but we still call ourselves a fan. On the flipside, a lot of people who are fans of music with English lyrics do not understand a lot of, or sometimes even any English at all. But this is accepted a lot easier by the people around them/us. Because English is a world language.

This is where I Promised Once creates a change: with 3 Japanese and 2 German members (and a support drummer from Japan), there is a mixture of languages present, which is why they move to a third language: English. Every now and then you’ll hear some Japanese or German, but most of the lyrics are in English. So the next time someone gives you a negative remark about your preference for Japanese music you can show them this. It comes from Japan, so it’s Japanese music, but (dominantly) in English! With “Salvation” I Promised Once clearly shows what they are good at. And that’s metalcore. They clearly feel at home in this genre and start the album off with “Succubus (feat. SHREZZERS)”. A metal-like intro with melodic female vocals, a guitar solo that feels very familiar in the metal genre, followed by hard rock vocals and a grunt here and there. “Picture Perfect” happily continues this with an obvious metal-theme which is mostly brought to you by the guitar play.

“Forever Lost” slows down the heavy influence by lowering us to the hard rock genre with a small dip back to the heavier sounds which the album is based on here and there, but ends on a much softer tone to introduce “Homecoming”. A clear example of a rock-ballad, which I personally think is a bit of a shame at this point of the album, because there was a clear build-up, and suddenly you’re slowed down instantly. The next song “Departed” changes the speed immediately again, pulling you right out of the tranquillity that had been created by the previous song with an intro of a fast-paced guitar. A few moments later and you’re right back where you left off. A fast-paced song with grunts and regular vocals, and you feel like you’re right back in the concert venue again.

“The Invasion” opens a lot calmer with a piano intro before the grunts and guitar take over. It’s a more aggressive song with a slower tempo, dominated by grunt-style vocals but here and there regular vocals also return to give the song that little bit of extra power. “Fall of Adam 1863” opens quite cheerfully, but quickly returns to the previously mentioned hard rock – while clearly being a love song. The tempo is kept in a fairly high pace, but the lyrics tell a story of missing and rejection without giving you the depressing feelings.

“Chaos is a Ladder” almost makes you think you have a different album in your CD player. You’re instantly greeted with clear metal and grunts, changing between a faster and slower pace. Complete with guitar solo and grunts mixed with normal vocals there’s no clearer example of heavy metal on this album.

In the meantime, we’ve reached “Break (feat. Blumio)”. A song that instantly takes a different turn. Like the introduction to the song says itself already it’s “metalcore meets hip-hop”, and the diversity of the band is highlighted once more by making use of Japanese, German and English words. The result is a club-like feeling which quickly changes back into the signature metalcore of I Promised Once. So the ones who aren’t a fan of hip-hop don’t have to run away instantly. The hip-hop elements return here and there during the song and tell a story about the modern media (in German) for which it’s given a free stage, but it doesn’t dominate the song.

“Lucifer” starts with a slow guitar which is often used by metal artists, but is quickly joined by other instruments to give it some more speed. A short solo later the grunts join, and the regular vocals follow suit. A heavy bass and drum sound dominates the stage and sometimes tones it down a notch to give the guitarists some room to demonstrate their skills. A little bit of energy, one more time! “Salvation” is an instrumental outro which closes the album in a powerful way with a piano, synthesizer and drums in the background. A clear closure of the album!

Salvation” is an album which mixes several sub-genres of heavy metal with their core sound metalcore and even hip-hop. The album has a “Western” feel to it compared to various other artists and their albums in related genres that have been released recently. The international influence of the different members of the band has clearly been put into this album and gives a breath of fresh air to the genre. It’s definitely a recommendation for the wishlist for the late winter or early spring! Even if you aren’t a fan of metal. Because of the mix of various genres and sub-genres there’s something for everyone on this album!

Rating: 85/100

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