Anmeldt av Jens Nepper
(Frontiers Music, 2020)

Karakter: 3/6

SMACKBOUND 2020 album cover.jpgFinnish outfit Smackbound recently released this 10-track debut offering of theirs via Frontiers Records, but where I kind of assumed that they would primarily fall into the hard rock category, this particular record shows that they are influenced by a multitude of various genres and incorporate a lot of different ideas into their pounding rock/metal mixture. There are prominent traces of prog metal and symphonic metal as well as subtle tinges of alternative rock scattered throughout, but for the most part though, “20/20” falls somewhere between modern hard rock and polished, bombastic metal.

Smackbound are highly competent and skilled musicians, and the idea of churning out an LP that is musically and stylistically diverse is obviously a cool one, but the problem is that this otherwise well-produced and professional-sounding opus comes across as slightly unfocused and meandering at times. In terms of quality and flow, “20/20” lacks cohesion and things do not always evolve organically or move seamlessly from one thing to the next. In other words, when it shifts from galloping, straightforward heavy metal to huge, symphonic soundscapes with gothic undertones to them, it does not always sound convincing or captivating, but the potential is definitely there.

“Run”, “The Game”, and “Hey Motherfuckers” are great and contain plenty of killer riffs, strong melodies, and hook-laden vocals, but other than that, the album is a bit of a mixed bag and very much the sound of a band still searching for their own musical identity.


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