Review: “Rock Bottom” by Scream Blue Murder

Comprising drummer Jamie Bloomer, vocalist Aaron Bloomer, guitarist Jack Roddy and bassist Jacob Houghton, Scream Blue Murder are a Melodic Metalcore band from Coventry formed in 2014. Their 2016 debut “Hollow Stories” put them on the World stage and has seen them share stages with the likes of Bury Tomorrow, Crossfaith, Of Mice & Men and Cancer Bats to name but a few. Signing to Stay Sick Recordings for the sophomore effort “Rock Bottom”, it could well be their biggest year yet!

“Death Sentence” blends some Metalcore bounce with post-hardcore leaning melodic elements while throwing some electronics into the mix with distortions on Bloomers voice to create rise and fall atmospheric wave sonically. It’s something that works pretty well, with the bounce giving that energy while the quieter parts will no doubt give the audience the chance to sing a long live. Programmed drums and similarly distorted vocals bring in “Inside” while some of the chant styled vocals during the chorus and bridge are reminiscent of While She Sleeps. Lyrically, it’s a song about the feelings inside when a relationship is breaking down, however it is by no means a soft, heartaching affair. Instead, the band mix it up and seamlessly cross genre and subgenre boundaries to create a track that grows on you with each repeated listen as nuances come out in the mix. Album title track “Rock Bottom” is lyrically a follow up to “Inside” with some Nu-Metal introspection and obvious depressive feelings. A melodic track, Bloomer singings some aching clean vocals over buried electronics during the verses while the band raise everything during the choruses with some bright lead work and chugging bass. Its a sing-a-long anthem that will no doubt have festival audiences in tune.

“Bury Me” is one of the pre-release singles that got a music video. It’s a decent choice as it sums up the bands sound on the album really well and perhaps shows that the band are going in the same direction as the likes of Palisades. Melodic verses and big step up into a more full throttle chorus as the guitars kick in, it’s a hooky and catchy tune. “Light It Up” is the other song to get the music video treatment in the pre-release cycle. A lyrically positive cut about being the still standing and in for the long run, it has a pace and energy with a chanted chorus that is well put together. More obvious during the melodic parts, there are some vocal nuances during this cut that are present on most of the other tracks. They add a charm to the bands sound and avoid the American style accented vocals that bands like Scream Blue Murder often suffer from. “The Void” is a more driven and guitar orientated affair that saves the syths for the chorus and has a glorious melodic bridge into the final verse chorus run. “The Anchor” fuses the bands distinctive sound with some early 2000’s Metalcore riffage to create a track that is heavier in parts while also maintaining that melodic sensibility that is the core of their sound. Some solid lead riff parts bring something extra to the verses while the chorus has a faster almost spoken word delivery. Bloomer showcases a bit more range on this one with some more uncleans in the mix.

“Friends Like Judas” is the surprise of the pack with a big unclean roar after the initial darker vocal passage and some far heavier guitar work than is previously on show during the opening verse. The band then leap into a shorter melodic chorus before bringing back the earlier, heavier sound. There is even a rap-scream passage of sorts. A dark buried electronic bridge adds atmosphere while the presence of a breakdown requires the call for a tow truck mid-song. “Over The Line” continues the heavier stylings on the previous track, using the synths to create the sound that a lead guitar would add. Some staccato riffage from guitarist Jack Roddy adds punch to the unclean verses while the bold cleans in the chorus bring that distorted element back. Icy cold synths bring in “Victims Of Violence”, a full on Metalcore attack of heavier riffs and unclean vocals. In terms of the album flow, there seems to be the intension to flow from the melodic to the heavier tunes rather than mix up the approach. This leads to an album that could end up being a gateway release for the fans of more melodic material to get into some heavier tunes. It’s a darker cut with a menacing atmospheric that builds through to a final dead stop [7.5/10]

Track listing

  1. “Death Sentence”
  2. “Inside”
  3. “Rock Bottom”
  4. “Bury Me”
  5. “Light It Up”
  6. “The Void”
  7. “The Anchor”
  8. “Friends Like Judas”
  9. “Over The Line”
  10. “Victims Of Violence”

“Rock Bottom” by Scream Blue Murder is out on 12th April via Stay Sick Recordings and available for pre-order here.

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