Sea of Treachery – Wonderland


Album

Wonderland

Label

BlkHeart Group

Year

2010

For Fans Of

My Bitter End – All Shall Perish – Parkway Drive

Summary

Consistent? Yes. Original? No.

Rating

67 / 100

Adequate execution and suitable musical polish will only get you so far in this competitive game. More so than ever before. Perhaps in the past, being sufficient was good enough. But not now. With the growing and already large number of bands trying their hand at heavy music the pass mark has become harder to achieve.

For all intents and purposes, Sea of Treachery are decent enough, both as musicians and a collective group. However, juxtapose this sound against many like-minded bands and all of a sudden it is a different proposition.

Unfortunately, studio album number two (three, if you count their debut under the band name ‘At Daggers Dawn’) from this Kentucky five piece is a paint by number’s metal release that plays too closely to the metalcore stylebook. It’s not inherently bad, just offers very little in terms of variety. Swedish inspired riff – breakdown – guttural vocal passage – clean sung chorus. It is enjoyable but equally predictable at the same time. If it was a game of ‘Cluedo’ we would know who the murderer was, in what room the crime was committed and with what instrument before the first dice had even been rolled.

Wonderland’ is forcibly positioned somewhere between the screeching vocals and breakdown structure of Suicide Silence and the technical roots of an All Shall Perish, with the release not deviating much out of these general bounds.

Welcome to Wonderland’ is an aggressive opener. Those who are on a healthy diet of down tuned breakdowns will be in aural heaven here. To the band’s credit the tag team guitar work is quite impressive with some sweeps and technical sections working well within. Equally, ‘A Lifetime Ago’ is another solid, heavy offering that has some endearing qualities to it. For those who want to hear a male sung take on Paramore’s popular track ‘Misery Business’ check out the final song on the digital version of this album.

These tunes will definitely translate well in a live setting, with all the ingredients there to get the pit moving. However, when transferred onto disc, the songs lose a bit of individuality and presence, instead sounding like a generic composite of similar musical outfits.

One thing for certain though is that Sea of Treachery are embedded within the scene, with the band’s revolving door of members making for interesting reading – with current and former members now in major player band’s such as All Shall Perish, Emarosa and Suffokate.

Conclusion

‘Wonderland’ is a reflection of contemporary metalcore’s current standing. This studio album will offer momentary points of interest and is delivered with clear and honest intent. Gladly crank it loud but just don’t expect much innovation and understated complexity here.

Tracklisting

1. Welcome to Wonderland
2. Up Next on the Violence
3. Who’s Winning, You Or You?
4. A Lifetime Ago
5. The Comedian Is Dead
6. The Sphinx Has Left the Building
7. Seven
8. Skin Deep
9. You Speak Only In Vowels
10. It Was Always Too Late

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