Down In Flames
WTO Records, 2007
REVIEW BY: Cory Galliher
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 01/18/2008
I'll just go ahead and get the bad part of this review out of the way: Load Point Pull cannot rap. They are, to use the technical term, wack. Rap-metal is fine when done right, but unfortunately, this band does not do it right. Fortunately, they only attempt to rap for one track of Down In Flames, but this needed to be said before I could gush over the rest of the album.
Now for the gushing: when they aren't trying to be rap-metal and instead just go with metal, Load Point Pull knows what's up. Their lyrics aren't deep at all, the music isn't anything out of the ordinary and they aren't redefining the genre, but with Down In Flames, these guys prove they know how to melt listeners' faces. In the end, that's what really counts in a metal album.
The album’s standout track is “Shatter'd World,” which also has one of the most ridiculous names I've seen on a song in quite some time – is that apostrophe really necessary? Needless punctuation aside, this is the first single from the album for good reason. It's got just the right balance of gritty vocals, pounding percussion and shrieking guitar; it manages to grab the listener's attention and hold it without becoming overbearing like some other metal bands. The title track, “Down In Flames,” is another highlight for most of the same reasons.
Load Point Pull is at their best when they're striving to reach that balance. Tracks like “The Good Life,” the above-mentioned rap track, place too much emphasis on the vocals and fail as a result, for instance. That or they just can't rap worth a damn. In any case, the rest of the album, while not quite reaching the level of the single and title track, is technically solid and worth a listen. The track “Change” deserves special mention, as it shows that Load Point Pull can manage a pretty solid rock anthem, something I wouldn't expect from a lot of modern rock bands.
Down In Flames isn't wack by any means – it's a superb album marred only by a single terrible track. As long as Load Point Pull continues to play to their strengths, they've got a long, hardcore future of face-melting ahead of them.