Allbum Review – Mutiny Within

This is one of the most exciting metal albums I’ve heard in a long time. Mutiny Within’s self-titled album, scheduled for release on February 23, 2010, combines high octane metal, technical virtuosity, and great melodies. The sextet consists of brothers Andrew “A.J.” (bass) and Brandon Jacobs (guitar), Drew Stavola (keyboards), Chris Clancy (vocals), Bill Fore (drums) and Dan Bage (guitar). The six bandmembers and their incredible orchestration create music with a rich, complex texture. The music is extremely heavy, but mellow moments in each song provide a nice change of pace. In every track, something is always changing – the rhythmic feel, the riffs, clean/heavy vocals, and the vibe. I never knew quite what to expect next, and it commanded my attention at all times.

I also have to give props to Chris Clancy.  He has one of the most unique, mind-blowingly good voices I’ve ever heard. Clancy started singing at age 15 and worked with noted vocal coach Melissa Cross so he could learn to really sing. And man, does he ever. He sings heavy low and high growls, clean vocals, soaring melodies, and he occasionally reins it in for a mellow, intimate sound. The only criticism I have of this band is that the prog-head in me wishes their songs were longer. Some of their songs fade out at the end, and I’d love to hear them really finish.

There isn’t a mediocre song on the album. Every track is complex and powerful. Here are a few highlights:

“Awake” starts out with a mellow keyboard intro by Stavola that leads into a hard-core guitar riff. The song showcases Clancy’s vocal versatility between heavy and clean vocals. Fore’s drums relentlessly drive forward. The chorus of the song is irresistibly catchy. About two minutes into the track, the tempo changes to a slow, heavy mood at almost half speed.  40 seconds later, we get the first of many of the album’s awesome instrumental breaks with a guitar duet. Clancy’s voice shoots in the stratosphere at the end of the track, completing the powerful first impression.

“Falling Forever” begins with a Rob Halford-like scream from Clancy. The chorus has some beautiful harmonies, as well as an undulating guitar riff. Fore’s intricate use of the bass drum propels the rhythmic feel of the song. A brief classical, mellow keyboard moment breaks things up around two minutes into the song. We get a great question and answer guitar duet about three minutes in that evolves into interesting arpeggios. When the track finally fades out at the end, it’s almost disappointing.

“Lethean” is one of the album’s heaviest, and a full force adrenaline rush. The track begins with another powerful scream, followed by heavy vocals which quickly transition to clean vocals. We get a sick Symphony X-style guitar solo with awesome blast beats underneath.  Two minutes and 55 seconds in, we get a sample of Clancy’s lowest vocal range. It would be awesome to hear him sing more often in this range, since he tends to stay in his highest register.

The following is the track listing:

  1. Awake
  2. Images
  3. Falling Forever
  4. Years of Affliction
  5. Forsaken
  6. Lethean
  7. Oblivion
  8. Undone
  9. Hours
  10. Suffocate
  11. Reflections
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