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World War III
(Long Branch Records / SPV - 2011)
Madina Lake kick off with Howdy Neighbor!, a catchy tune with tempi changes, heavy riffs and varying vocals. With World War III they close a chapter, it's the final part of the trilogies they started with From Them, Through Us, To You. The story is about the fear of the unknown. In 2010 Matthew Leone was brutally injured when helping his wife, he was in coma for several days and needed time to recover from severe injuries. Perhaps this makes the album so intense... So Howdy Neighbor! is Nathan's open letter to the attacker. Other songs have a lighter feel to it, even if the lyrics not necessarily happy... Hey Superstar was the first single and it's a real ear catcher! Check it out!
Electronic sounds dominate Fireworks, a song which shows a different facet of Madina Lake. It's based on a dance floor-friendly beat, partly reminds me of The Prodigy's Firestarter - but with a pop appeal. One of my favorites is What It Is To Wonder, a catchy rocker with great vocals. A sonic roller coaster ride. Enchanting. Take It Or Leave is different - and even offers a spoken word part, almost rap-like -, but is still fitting in. It just shows that Madina Lake don't accept any limitations and do what they think it best for themselves. The closer The Great Divide seems to end at 2:07 minutes followed by a long silence, but 3:42 you hear some talking, then a riff.. it's like they let you listen to their rehearsals... Then drums, a heavy riff and melodic leads take over and the tune becomes a powerful instrumental rocker. Very cool.
The foursome is delivering a great album which is an emotional and sonic roller coaster ride, but at the same time the songs are homogenous and are 100% Madina Lake. Kudos!
Attics To Eden
(Roadrunner Records - 2009)
The foursome from the Windy City is presenting their second album which is called Attics To Eden and continues to tell the story of Adalia and the fictional city Madina Lake. The Leone brothers and their mates kick off with the fast rocker Never Take Us Alive, a guitar-driven song with a catchy hook. It seems that touring made the band stronger, the heavy guitar rock with catchy melodies is more intense now. Perhaps you can say that Madina Lake got more mature... Producer David Bendeth pushed them and the band said he was like a drill sergeant. After Let's Get Outta Here, one of my favorites, they ease off a bit for Legends which is a powerful rocker - and somehow enchanting. They add a dash aggression to Criminals, but they are still melodic and energetic. A balladesque rocker is Through The Pain which carries a sad undertone. Drummer Dan Torelli kicks off Never Walk Alone, a heavy track which shows them more complex and heavier. But it's Nathan Leone's voice which seems to calm the stormy sonic seas. The refrain of Welcome To Oblivion will soon haunt you! Mateo Camargo's guitar leads you into Silent Voices Kill, a very intense rock tune - and another highlight of Attics To Eden. Friends & Lovers had me at once! I love this balladesque tune! With Lila, The Divine Game they end the album with an atmospheric instrumental.
From Them, Through Us, To You
(Roadrunner Records - 2008)
The American outfit was founded in 2005 in Chigaco by the Leone twins. Matthew and Nathan Leone were playing in a band The Blank Theory before they joined with Mateo Camargo and Dan Torelli who played in Reforma before they joined forces. In late August 2006 they self-released an EP called The Disappearance Of Adalia which got them play live a lot and at the end signing a contract with Roadrunner Records.
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