Stiff Valentine- America Bleeding review
Label: WTII Records
Calling Vancouver, British Columbia home is “Loud” Chris Demarcus. While you probably have no idea who that is, you will soon. His new Metal/Electro Rock band, Stiff Valentine, debuts their new album this week on WTII Records with America Bleeding and is bringing a sense of fury, a sense of humor and of course all the loud you can handle to a stereo near you and beyond.
The first name in the credits you will notice is Chris Peterson (of Frontline Assembly and Delerium fame), who helped co-produce and record this monstrosity. The input from him and all the other veteran guests has taken what might otherwise have been only an average album and made it something special. The album overall follows in the footsteps of peers like 16 Volt, Skold and Left Spine Down and focuses not only on solid Metal chops but also gravitates toward melodic structuring and off-beat layering underneath the requisite guitar shreds and grunting vocals to straddle several genre lines. The high-energy affair begins in earnest right away with “The Bleeding”, where Eric Powell lends his trademark gravel to bear on a pounding Rock beat. “Electric Dreams” changes things up a bit by showing off some nice Electro layering, while Kaine Delay (Left Spine Down) adds another guest spot with clean vocals on “Swamp Thing”, a Blues-flavored Metal ruckus. The standout track “World Apart” shows off the genre bending perfectly and is my recommendation as the standard for the whole experience for curious listeners. The album closes out with “Collide”, an Experimental Industrial instrumental that ties the experience up nicely. Did I mention this should be played loud?
Of course, other names (and sounds!) that savvy listeners might recognize include the drum solos from Jason Bazinet (SMP), signature guitar work and programming flair from Jared Slingerland (Front Line Assembly) and the aforementioned starring vocals of Eric Powell. As the album cruises along you get the sense that this band is more like a supergroup/sideproject than a regular newcomer. Again in other ways this album might be considered above-average if not for the extra boost these collaborations provide.
My only concern is whether or not this debut will get the exposure it deserves. Certain Metalhead circles tend to stick with what they know and are less apt to look up new bands, while picky Electro fans may or may not find this too harsh and thumping for their tastes. DONT LET THIS ONE GET AWAY! America Bleeding is a solid debut that you need to at least listen to if Metal is at all up your proverbial musical alley, and this particular lineup has me drooling with excitement at what the future of this project can be.
For fans of: 16 Volt, Cyanotic, Be My Enemy, SMP, Skold, Eisbrecher, Epochate, Shadows Fall
Must have tracks: “The Bleeding (feat.Eric Powell)” “Good Enough 42” Electric Dreams” “Swamp Thing (Feat. Kaine Delay)” “Pit Boss” “World Apart” “Collide”
1)The Bleeding (Feat. Eric Powell of 16 Volt)
3)Good Enough 42
5)Swamp Thing (Feat. Kaine Delay of Left Spine Down)