9/19/2011 - Review by: Eric Compton
I swear these new youngsters like Avenged Sevenfold, Escape The Fate, Black Veil Brides, Egypt Central, etc. are really setting the bar high. Gone are the metal core traces, wiped clean from the 00s and staring the 10s with a clean and polished Euro rock feel. This new breed of youth gone wild are modern epitomes of what is so right with the US metal scene. Add another to the batch with Iowa's Destrophy.
The band have been around the block since 2004 and broke ground in 2009 with their self-titled release for Victory Records. That album had a lot of punch behind it but just fell short with its metal core moshings and limp delivery. Like so many other bands in their class they too lost the trappings of 'core and sought out a more melodic approach with squeaky clean vocals that ring true and true in the 80s AOR/arena rock style. This is one bold record that has more in common with the European melodic rock scene than any other US export today.
Vocalist Ari Mihalopoulos is absolutely a phenomenal vocalist and writer and really puts the mark of approval all over this. "Cry Havoc" is an album that hits me like a really well done 80s rock record; think of good Europe crossed with Icon and a touch of Queensryche. The record is loaded with huge anthems that relish in enormous harmony and chorus bites but sweeping in total metal gestures. Sure the band may come up a bit soft on the melody and production standards but there is plenty of metal riffs to keep those denim and leathers tuning in. You won't find this band in a thrash or modern sensibility with these songs but yet it still braces plenty of punching power under its soft and subtle delivery. Check out the huge anthem "We Are Alive" with its Euro styled keyboard pop while the title track and "It Ends Tonight" are full on metal romps with tons of hook and charismatic vocals. I would swear on a really Holy thing that this is the 10s re-incarnation of Icon's "Night Of The Crime" from 1985. Decades apart and ages among these men but still these two records are almost identical in the way they are handled and managed.
The Bottom Line - Surprise of the year for me and one that will sit in my top 5 of 2011.
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