Monday, August 22, 2011

Promises Lie - Distance (2011)

As you all know, techno and metal just do not mix. However, the band Promises Lie try to mix them anyway. They list themselves as a progressive metal band from Russia, but I don't think progressive is the word. Honestly, I don't know what I would categorize them in. They have released their new album, entitled "Distance." It's got some interesting parts that are melodic and heavy yet the album is also very electronic.

The intro sounds like the beginning of a DJ Tiesto album with futuristic sounds and repetitive synthesizers. This builds up the second track, entitled "Thorns." With exploding drums and blaring guitar riffs you'll be bobbing your head immediately. The verses are clean with semi decent vocals. The refrain has got some good double bass pedal parts that really get the track pumped with energy. There is also a lot of different types of stringed synths and piano riffs that consume the background giving that outer space feel to the music. This follows with random screaming that, unfortunately, really takes away from the song. Besides this everything else isn't that bad. The structure is great and the recording sounds good. This is definitely one of the better songs on the album.

It starts to go down hill from here. "Freak" is the next track and it starts with a corny synth melody that sounds like they got from an old Tetris game. This automatically makes it hard to take the track seriously. They try to add some heavy elements like distorted guitar riffs and more screaming, but when the refrain kicks in, that annoying synth starts up again as well. On top of this, the vocalist seems like he's having a hard time hitting some notes as you'll hear a lot of flat lyrics. This is followed by "Nothing Nowhere." you would think Owl City was featured in this one when you hear the intro. Futuristic synths and soft clean vocals are drenched in reverb and delay effects. And of course they manage to include the weak screams with distorted riffs in the background. At this point of the album you'll notice that the vocalist went from singing to whining. But don't worry, they try to save things with a short "solo" using three or four notes over and over again. I know at this point you're asking yourself, "Will this song ever end?" and the great news is YES it does... but not before one last whiny chorus. Feel free to hit the "skip" button.

Now I'm sure by now you're wondering why you're still listening to this album. Well this is one track that is definitely worth hearing. "Backyard Desert" is the name of it. It's a one minute and 20 second instrumental with angelic piano riffs and beautiful soothing strings in the background. It's not metal, but it does lean more towards the calm classical sound. I think Promises Lie would be a lot more successful if they stuck to this kind of music. Seriously, you're going to find yourself listening to this short track more times than the 10 tracks on the album. So make sure you check this song out before you delete the album off your hard drive.

"Distance" is just a roller coaster ride that starts at a decent height and has a really steep drop. Promises Lie have proven that techno and metal are just not meant to be. It's time they start working on their solos and distorted riffs, and leave Tiesto and Owl City out of it!


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