Overall Score: 8/10 Creativity : 8/10 Vocals : 9/10 Consistency : 7/10 Pros: Both vocalists sound fantastic | Tries something new with Metalcore | Cons: A few songs sound generic
For a lot of people, there has been a ridiculous amount of hype surrounding Issues and their release of their debut full length album. Since the release of their 2012 EP Black Diamonds, Issues have rapidly been gaining fans thanks to their blend of pop and metalcore providing a fresh new take on the genre that some felt can sound very stale. To many, Issues is expected to be a game-changer within the metalcore genre and whilst the album doesn’t quite live up to these huge expectations, Issues still a deliver a great metalcore album.
First of all if you are not a fan of dance or pop music in any way then this album is not going to be for you, for those who enjoy a bit of Justin Timberlake alongside their Bring Me The Horizon there is going to be plenty to love about this album. This album is full of downtuned riffs for moshing, synths, Nu Metal DJ scratches and huge vocal hooks on the choruses. Opener “Sad Ghosts” demonstrates all these elements very well but some later songs tend to focus more on particular elements such as “Late”, with it’s autotuned vocals making it sound more like an N Sync song with a breakdown thrown into the middle (not that this is necessarily a bad thing). If this isn’t enough to turn off metal purists then the Cure For The Itch inspired Old Dena or pop-punk choruses of Never Lose Your Flames certainly will.
Lead single Stingray Affliction is the albums strongest track and will no doubt become Issues mosh anthem played live and will get crowds jumping and moshing harder than any other Issues song could. Performance wise both vocalists do a great job with Tyler Carter providing some of the biggest choruses you’ll here this year but this does not mean the album is all about him. Michael Bohn sounds fantastic on the tracks where he is really allowed to let go such as the previously mentioned Stingray Affliction. Unfortunately there are a few weaker elements to the album. As creative as some songs are, a few do drift into familiar screamed verse/sung chorus metalcore territory and there a lack of memorable guitar riffs too. Tears On The Runway pt.2 is definitely the albums weakest moment and could have been cut entirely. However, the album ends on a brilliant note with the inclusion of a gospel choir on closing track Disappear (Remember When). As ridiculous as it sounds the gospel choir shows Issues are at their best when they don’t stick the conventions of the metalcore genre. So whilst it isn’t the game changing album people might of hoped for, Issues still provides an enjoyable and often refreshing take on the genre and could end up influencing a lot of future metalcore bands.
“Issues” is out now on Rise Records.