Modern metal between melancholy, pop and heaviness.
Well, as an editor you read a lot of fictional genre names, but I’ve never come across Active Rock. What is active rock? And what does inactive rock music look like? In the following lines, we will probably have to create our impression of the Americans DEARLY DEPARTED, who are presenting their second work with “Heartless”. I’m purposely avoiding the term “album,” because there’s more here than Fargo’s fifth (yes, the North Dakota city really exists) album, which is only six tracks long.
But first let’s solve the conundrum of genre categorization: Active Rock is obviously meant to describe a very trendy mix of Metalcore, DISTURBED brand modern Alternative Metal and CREED style melancholic Rock. I have to begrudgingly admit that the Americans know how to write catchy hooks because the opening track and the title track are catchy and you can sing along to the chorus after just one listen. Especially with the first two numbers of the album, it is noticeable that the melancholic side of the band’s sound is overemphasized; The same manners blare predictably from the speakers with fuzzy poppy verses and swinging choruses.
‘Chasing You’ and ‘Quiet Echoes’ sound a lot more Metalcore and have a harder edge, especially on the six strings, which suits the quintet well to my ears, but at the same time these two numbers lack hooklines. go with it the beginning of the album still the band’s biggest asset to my ears. It’s only when they add a bit of LINKIN PARK to the mix of “Haunted” and “Hindsight” that the recipe suddenly works, as here the balance between heaviness, melody and melancholy is finally right. Especially at the beginning of the 2000s, the five would fit well on the MTV program, although the general sound was, of course, much more modern than that of the representatives of the Nu Metal wave of that time.
All in all, “Heartless” is a fitting sign of life from a young band that obviously hasn’t found its sound yet. Do the tear glands need to be squeezed in a melancholic way, or does Fargo want to offer a modern interpretation of Nu Metal? I hope that the choice eventually falls on the latter option, because in my ears it can reveal much better the potential of the group in this sector.
- Tobias Dahs