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12.08.2019

AS I MAY

My Own Creations

Anmeldt av Eddie Rattlehead
(Rockshots Records, 2019)

Karakter: 3.5/6

AsIMay_MyOwnCreations.jpgThe 2nd installment from the Finnish nu metal/hardcore outfit brings a predictable mix of In Flames-ian and 21-ist century Soilwork-er big choruses with Korn-ish and Slipknot-ic riffing profusely doused with Depeche Mode-ian synths for mixed results.

Just one listening session of "My Own Creations" proves there is no doubt that As I May, featuring Tipi Nokelainen (vocals and bass), Lasse Hiltunen (vocals and guitar), Jani Valhola (backup vocals and guitars) and Marko Korhonen (drums) are a talented bunch (worthy of Jon Asher/Asher Media Relations they currently enjoy), who can write catchy melodies, drawing inspiration from such well-established purveyors (though not creators) of this widely popular genre such as In Flames or Soilwork. The favorite, "Cure Is Worse Than Disease" may not have the greatest riffs but does have the best chorus recalling Depeche Mode's "Rush" , so the fact that they have chosen this song for a video single shows that they know which songs are the best representation of their music. In fact, the second favorite, "I See You In Me", with its Dark Tranquillity-ian "Fiction" chorus, was chosen for a single too, so that's two excellent picks in a row. Other tracks, while they don't strike the chord in a similar fashion, are decent while they help reinforce the impression that musically these guys have a lot of great, if not necessarily very original ideas. While the growls, or rather, hardcore screams and shouts are typical with this style, the clean vocals are excellent recalling Chester Charles Bennington (Linkin' Park) which is a high compliment in my book. Of note, too, is the use of string violins, whether they're real or synthed, as well as varied pace within most tracks, whereby the listener doesn't get tired too easily.

There are, however, multiple flaws with this album. First, the riffs are either weak, overplayed, cliché or just downright non-existent, recalling Linkin' Park or Stabbing Westward, and, although I like both, this time it's not a compliment. I get the impression as though songs are written for the big choruses with disregard for the verses, transitions and such elements which usually surround choruses. That kind of approach someone less polite might be tempted to call "sell out", but I have a different view (which I will get to momentarily), especially since the album has 2 bad tracks (for different reasons) which definitely militate against such musings. While "Necessary Evil" is a song with Killswitch Engage-sque positive core cliché lyrics (look at the stars above they shine so bright etc.) recalling In Flames' "Trigger" which I find particularly annoying, "Silent" has a chorus which is Staind's "For You" not just note for note but word for word. Indeed, Aaron Lewis called - he wants his song back. As I May simply seem too invested in the now long gone stylings of nu metal which brings me to the concluding different view I signalled earlier.

Given that As I May is musically a good album with mostly bad songs, what can be done about the future? I suggest that they depart from metal altogether. The last track, "Loud" clearly shows that they would be far better at keeping the focus on the big choruses but, having dropped the weak riffs, fill the gaps with some synth atmospherics, for a much more unique and engaging outcome.

https://asimay.com/


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