A BULLET FOR PRETTY BOY
RIYL: Misery Signals, Your Memorial, Volumes
As a reviewer, I will fully admit that we often overuse the term “grower”. The idea that a release is terrible until some magic spark flies and makes an album good is a rather stupid notion. Instead, an album can certainly be dense or multi-faceted, so that the entirety of the album’s listening experience cannot be grasped in one listen. Symbiosis is that type of an album, if for no other reason than it is an entirely different experience than the band’s debut. Revision:Revise showcased a band that was more than fine sounding like every other competent Rise Records band: decent instrumentation, occasional melodic sensibilities, and more breakdowns than a listener knows what to do with. A lot has changed for this Texas-based band on its sophomore release. Symbiosis is an apt title, as it symbolizes how the band merges its ambient and melodic penchant with more typical metalcore ideals. Sure there are more than a few breakdowns, but the band clearly has stepped up its game on album number two. One could say this is just Volumes or Misery Signals with a greater sense of melody. However, the djenty guitars gently weave themselves into the listener’s brain while the melodic guitar work weaves its way in and out of the sound, creating a somewhat unique sound. “Unique” is rarely an adjective used in metalcore, but A Bullet for Pretty Boy evidently wants to step out of the generic realm. Tracks like “Come Clean” and “De(v)tails” highlight how the band utilizes its newfound sound to greatness. “Come Clean” is devastatingly heavy, yet features a well-placed ambient section and poignant lyrics. “De(v)tails” is the band at its most progressive, eschewing typical metalcore song structures for a better product. The result is a band who understands what it takes to rise above the standard. There are surely some missteps when the band regresses back on the standard formula, but the majority of the album finds the band migrating to a new territory; one that marries the heavy with the melodic, the simplistic with the technical. This is undoubtedly a band that knows what it wants to accomplish, and it has clearly done so on Symbiosis. – by Nicholas Senior
>> Classification: Progressive Metalcore
>> Recommended Tracks: “Come Clean” and “De(v)tails”
>> In Conclusion: While it may take a couple listens, Symbiosis is a significant step forward for A Bullet for Pretty Boy. While it’s not entirely progressive, the band’s newfound sound is a giant leap in the right direction.