Eyes Wide Open – And So It Begins (2017)

These Swedish melodic/deathers have been around for a while, taking as much influence from bands like Dark Tranquillity, In Flames and Soilwork as they have more modern acts like Paint The Sky, Of Mice and Men and others that I’m not all too familiar with and would not really like the chance to be familiar with. To be honest, I don’t recommend that melodeath purists even so much as glance at this album, as it’s going to sound like someone took a perfectly good melodic death disc and ruined it with modernisms. Oh yes, the riffs are there, the melodies are there and the solos are most certainly there. But the punk shouts and other portions born from the core and emo-cultures may not quite be for me. There are times when I listen to this record and see the appeal that it could have to modern listeners, but that just isn’t me. I’ve actually given this one plenty of chances, having listened to it three times before coming to a conclusion and while there are a few songs that I don’t have a problem with, like the opener “Death Of Technology” and “We Reached For The Sky” the majority of this is not my cup of tea.

Although I will say that from a musical and commercial standpoint, there’s definitely something here that could become a product of sorts and make the band rock stars. If rock was still a popular and viable genre in the mainstream. As I’ve said, it only takes one band to do it, and you never know who that is going to be. Saying little more, this is about as modern as melodic death metal gets; even though it later entertains groove and djent compositions – so there you go. And So It Begins is commericially applicable as can be, but that quality is what might turn some heads away from it quicker than a Limp Bizkit performance. Thankfully, these guys don’t share anything in common with that band and for that I can be thankful. It could always be much worse, and this isn’t really all that terrible – it’s just as I’ve said and will say again, certainly not my thing.

If you like modern metal, post-emo and electronic synth metal (I’d prefer Sweden’s Machinae Supremacy in that regard) tied into melodeath, synth and straight-up hard rock, then you might find something here. It’s a bag of tricks, but I don’t believe I’m the intended audience. Are you?

(11 Tracks, 40:00)







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