I was actually fairly surprised to find out that Cry of the Afflicted had been signed by none other than Seattle's Solid State records. Having seen this band perform live while they were still a local metalcore band from Kelowna, British Columbia, I remember not being too terribly impressed by their performance. They weren't horrible; they just sounded overwhelmingly standard - like a less ambitious version of As I Lay Dying - and, not surprisingly, their debut album The Unveiling carries much of that sameness with it.
Cry of the Afflicted dish out a typically calculated blend of metalcore that features the usual ingredients of dual, detuned guitars to go with clean/gritty vocals spouting positive and vaguely spiritual lyrics. On paper, this formula is not very impressive and, to be honest, any typical Solid State fan has heard this mix of aggression and melody before. The Unveiling doesn't exactly separate itself from the pack because, despite all of its sincerity, it still fails to come up with anything new. The riffs are heavy, yet faceless, and the choruses remain catchy, without being instantly memorable.
Despite this lackluster adherence to established genre formulas, however, I still found it hard to not like this record. For all of its middle-of-the-road metalcore tendencies, I have to admit that The Unveiling pulls it off rather well. Cry of the Afflicted doesn't take very many chances in its music, but it's hard to fault a band for knowing its audience and not being afraid to give it exactly what it wants. The Unveiling is a slick, well-produced and well-performed record that will fit comfortably between any fan's Underoath and Destroy the Runner records. It may be typically "screamo," but as a big screamo/metalcore fan, I find myself asking: What exactly is wrong with that?- Review date: 10/9/07, written by Sherwin Frias
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