Your Chance To Die – The American Dream
Release Date: June 4th, 2013
When confronted with the term “female fronted metal” what is the first thing to come to mind? For most people, and sometimes I’m a victim of this, they first think of bands that utilize the soft, ethereal, and angelic styles that bands like Amaranthe, Nightwish, Within Temptation tend to use in their musical endeavors. I generally hope for the opposite. Arch Enemy are famous for having a female vocalist that is capable of competing with many male vocalists of the death and melodic death metal nature. There are many other female vocalists but Angela is the first to come to mind and probably one of the better known examples. Your Chance To Die sports a female vocalist that may just be up to the challenge of going face to face with Angela and others of that caliber. But, I’m going to put gender issues and labels aside for the rest of this.
The American Dream is the band’s second full length record to be released by Red Cord Records and may end up being the band’s induction into the higher tier circuit of modern melodic death metal. Your Chance to Die hail from South Carolina and can be defined as a mix of melodic and technical death metal with a hint of metalcore strewn throughout. Their lineup consists of members of all sorts of sub-genres, including power metal and thrash. They have completed three major national tours and even tours within Central America and Mexico. They’ve played with bands such as Still Remains, Nile, Revocation, and more. This beefy yet young resume really piqued my interest, so I definitely had to check out their newest work.
“Ba’Ca” acts as an introduction to both the album and the following track “Kolotajem”. Completely instrumental, “Ba’Ca” depicts the dark, mysterious, yet obliterating vibe that is portrayed throughout most, if not all, of the album. “Kolotajem” brings about more flavor though, as you hear more of the band’s influences take shape and make themselves known to the listener. Above mentioned bands that these guys have toured with may have played a part in some of the band’s sound, but they definitely create their own footing that does not rely on this.
“Renenet” begins to show more of the band’s chops, especially the heaviness and ferocity that is vocalist Missi Avila. The more I listen to this record, the better the chances are that Missi becomes one of my favorite harsh female vocalists. Hell, when I first started up The American Dream I didn’t even realize it was a woman singing. But this is not the quality that really got me to appreciate this band. Chase Crouch and Coca Avila create a whole other layer with their amazing guitar playing. The “atmosphere” and intensity manifested in the guitar sections really help differentiate Your Chance to Die from other technical metal bands that play too much on sounding like a classical era masterpiece.
Having these elements in the music already has me hooked, but the icing on the cake is provided by Thomas White on the drums. Thomas adds more of the power characteristic to the sound of the group with pummeling and concussive double bass. This doesn’t play much in the “technical” aspect that is used to describe their sound. It doesn’t need to. Without some power behind it all, this record could have ended up getting old pretty fast in certain respects.
Your Chance to Die experiments with other elements, including a few sprinkles of atmospheric tendencies, especially in “Conscience” and “Ma’vet”. This welcomes in a much appreciated dark veil on top of an already moody album.
Hook, line, and sinker. The later half brings about more variety with the shorter songs “Woq’ochaj Rax” and “Virus” that contrast well with the rest of the opus while still being relevant. The changes of pace are great ways to keep the listener guessing, wondering what is going to happen next. Your Chance to Die takes chances with adding depth to their music and they succeed with high marks. If you’re still not sure about the band just yet, check out their single “Oscuridad”. This single contains a lot of what has been said already.
Overall, I’m impressed. Ferocity, technicality, power, and variety were well executed here. I’m hoping this album propels the band further as I want to hear how they decide to progress with their sound. There is always something to improve on, even with what has already been said. Check these guys out, it will definitely be worth your time.