When Excuses Become Antiques
6/8/2006 - Review by: Eric Compton
Phoenix Mourning - When Excuses Become Antiques - 2006 - Metal Blade
This band was brought to the attention of Metal Blade by famed producer Tom Morris, who recorded, mixed, and produced this record. "When Excuses Become Antiques" is the debut for the group, a thirteen song exhibit of today's screamo genre. While most bands of this genre do over-extend the melody and aggression, Phoenix Mourning is more of a relaxed phase. Certainly the metal aspect is there, with this release really showing off some heavier riffs and a mid-tempo rhythm. Vocalist Jeremiah Ruff offers up the extreme screams while also delivering more pop oriented, soothing vocals. While other bands of this nature such as Atreyu, Trivium, and Bullet For My Valentine are filled with more energy and intensity, this group of youngsters has more of a calming effect. Tom Morris really turns the band's guitar tones into soft touches, each filled with fantastic melody and dynamics courtesy of guitarists Ahmed Smith and Stephen Bowman. It is this soft tone and texture, combined with complex arrangements, that leaves this as more of a progressive rock venture. The record's highlight is the quick rock romp of "Waiting For The King" and the intricate, clean polish of "Niche".
Bottom Line - A fairly good screamo venture that searches for calm, soothing rock elements instead of aggressive, restless energy.
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