Adelaide metalcore pioneers I Killed the Prom Queen have duly returned from an eight-year recording hiatus looking almost a completely different band from the one that produced Music for the Recently Deceased, and their loyal army of fans have wasted no time putting this album into the top end of the Australian chart.
Yet if there’s ever been a record that deserves less to be a hit, it’s Beloved. Considering metalcore’s already bad reputation for unoriginality and non-inspiration, it’s little short of astonishing that one of the bands with the key responsibility for the genre’s mass popularity thought they could get away with churning out an album so bereft of vision.
Beloved is a showcase for some of the most unimaginative song writing imaginable. There is simply not a single original idea present. Every track is merely a collection of standard metalcore breakdowns, boring riffs, uninteresting and constantly-recycled melody lines, flat, lifeless drumming and Jamie Hope’s annoying vocals, with almost no variation on this theme besides tempo. Jona Weinhofen interjects now and then with a soaring vocal harmony but this has been done so much by so many that it isn’t even a cliché anymore. Even the presence of Soilwork’s “Speed” Strid on one track makes no overall impact. ‘Kjærlighet’ makes a small effort to display some level of diversity with stripped-back riffing and an emphasis on Weinhofen’s voice instead of the Hope’s one dimensional try-hard croaking and ‘Brevity’ has a sludgy element added that at least gets the ears pricked up, but it’s just not enough. It’s almost as if they just didn’t care.
If one were looking for the ultimate statement in generic metalcore, go no farther than Beloved. Even the fans will probably lose interest in this one pretty quickly.
1. Beginning of the End
2. To the Wolves
3. Bright Enough
5. Thirty One & Sevens
6. Calvert Street
8. The Beaten Path
10. No One Will Save Us