We hold these truths to be self-evident, that the best gigs are those of the bands you know to perfection (B-sides and side-projects included), the bands you grew up with no matter the age you first heard them. In December 2012, I will be celebrating a decade since I first considered myself a Linkin Park fan. However, the celebration came a bit early, as the boys finally decided to rock Romania on June 6th, prompting a lot of the 10.000+ fans, gathered at the oh so familiar venue – Romexpo, to loudly proclaim the likes of “this is a dream come true” or “I’ve been waiting for this since high-school’’. The surprising truth is that Linkin Park have been around for a relatively long time now. It just goes to show that being in a constant development and not being afraid to experiment (A Thousand Suns was the most underground mainstream album of 2010) has paid off. Different people have different notions of what the Linkin Park ‘sound’ is.
With their seventh album, HIM are continuing their zig-zag journey through the sonic worlds of love and doom, this time hitting more on the first side (it’s catchy and singalong as the beginning of a new fling). It was expected since their previous album, Venus Doom, was as dark and heavy as could be (maybe except Bleed Well, which would have suited their new album better). To declare yourself totally disappointed with their latest offering would mean that you are a half-fan, since there has always been a pop/metal bilocation in their music. There are some changes in their sound, which bring HIM closer to an American brand of their love metal. Considering that they hired Matt Squire to produce, this new dimension is by no means an accident, but it’s still unclear if Screamworks is the price they had to pay for Venus Doom, or if it is the other way around.
The thing with Dead by Sunrise is that you can either listen to it as Chester Benington’s side-project and compare it to Linkin Park, you can also listen to it as Julien-K without Ryan Shuck on vocals, or you can clear your mind of all these faces and names and enjoy a new rock band. And, truth be told, it’s not at all difficult to enjoy Dead by Sunrise’s debut album, Out of the Ashes. The overall feeling you get from this first studio effort by these guys, is that you are listening to some classic rock’n'roll album, something old school, but still alive and kicking. Billy Idol’s Rebel Yell is the first thing that comes to mind, but Bon Jovi’s Slippery When Wet is not too far either. I’m not entering sound issues when mentioning these albums. I’m just trying to say that Out of the Ashes has everything you would want from a rock album. It might not become your favourite, but you will respect it.