Pick Your Rock and Metal

Sunday, February 22, 2015

ALBUM REVIEW: Smash Into Pieces have modern radio-friendly rock on Apocalypse DJ

WHEN it comes to a wealth of diverse music, the Scandinavian countries have the lion's share, and the latest evidence comes for Smash into Pieces as they let rip with radio-friendly rock on their second album 'Apocalypse DJ'.

Follwing on from their 2013 debut album 'Unbreakable' and consists of eleven tracks of what could be described as modern rock with a slight alternative feel to a number of tracks.

Made up vocalist Chris Adam Hedman Sorbye, guitarists Benjamin Jannebo and Per Berquist, bassist Viktor Vidlund and drummer Isak Snow, Smash to Pieces have a curious back-story...
In 2009 the band reached the semi finals of the Swedens got Talent compitition but dropped out of it when they signed a record deal which then went sour on them after releasing one single. They remained unsigned for a few years before signing with Gain/Sony Music and released their debut album in April 2013.
The production on this 2015 release is top quality. The guitars have a nice crisp feel to them and all the instruments are to the fore which adds to a nice full sound.
The vocals of Chris Adam Hedman Sorbye for the most part deserve praise.  He has a good deep voice which really suits the music and he is more than capable of carrying a tune, the only problem is when he tries a sort of growled vocal on a number of tracks which doesn't really work such as on the track 'Burn'.

Whilst the guitars have a nice crisp sound unfortunately the riffs for the most part are generic radio rock and quite a few of the tracks have a pronounced industrial and 'nu-metal' feel which at times dates the album, again the track 'Burn' is the main culprit with the main riff all to reminiscent of the more radio friendly tracks from Fear Factory around the time of 'Digimortal'.

The band certainly know how to write catchy, melodic songs. So far they have released two singles from this album, 'Disaster Highway' and 'Checkmate' but almost any of the tracks on this album could be released as a single such is the amount of hooks and sing along chorus they appear to have at their disposal.
You could easily imagine any of these tracks playing in the background of some American teen drama or at a sporting event. 

The two tracks which stand out for praise are the semi ballad 'Color Of Your Eyes' and 'My Cocaine'. 

'Color Of Your Eyes' starts off with a nice keyboard and clean picked guitar lines which continues through the first verse before the whole band join in for the chorus and a standout performance from Chris Adam Hedman Sorbye.

'My Cocaine' is duet with Elize Ryd of Amaranthe and has each vocalist singing a verse before joining together for the chorus.  Both voices combine well together but it is the presence of Elize Ryd that really makes this track top quality.   Her vocals start off being quite dreamy and ends up with her belting out quite a few high notes as the music gathers momentum.

'Apocalypse DJ' is an album slick, well produced radio rock which seems to be aimed squarely at the American market. 
Most of the band members admit to their love of bands such as Nickleback and Alter Bridge and listening to this album their influence on the musicians is obvious.

If inoffensive, radio friendly modern rock mixed with industrial and Nu Metal is your cup of tea then this will be the album for you. If not stay away.

'Apocalypse DJ' is released on 16th March on Gain
Review by Gavin O'Connor

No comments: