Viral by Holiday At Sea is a concept album based around a science-fiction story. It works excellently to convey the story as well as a great example of amazing instrumental performances, great songwriting and phenomenal production. “V12” opens the album; a gorgeous instrumental with an emotional guitar melody soaring over a tight rhythm section. The build throughout the song is smart and the melodic development sublime.
“Torches” features some driving contrapuntal bass and staccato snare flourishes accenting the choruses. The lead vocal cuts through the sonic spectrum in a higher range and sits well into the mix with a Craig Wedren-like tone. There are some great instrumental passages and features throughout the song.
“Open Door” showcases some extremely clever drumming finding great ways to build and accent the melody while still keeping a driving groove. Again, the countermelodies that are performed in the bass throughout are also a great addition to the song. Multitudes of guitars stacked on top of each other never get in each other’s ways, instead each tone clearly demonstrating an interesting puzzle piece to the construction of the whole song.
“The Dawn” has a Jimmy Eats World rocker vibe to it. The drums and bass have quite a feature here again with double-time hi-hat punctuating explosive drums and upper octave bass melodies stepping into the lead through a sea of descending distorted guitars. Melodically, the song is very catchy and anthemic. “Escape” is a short instrumental built around rolling toms and steady sleigh bells. It’s a nice interlude and works very effectively as underscore. “Homecoming” opens with a fuzzed out thick riff before the vocals enter and the snare turns to a marching pattern. There are some nice contrasts between metal-ish attack of the band throughout and a short but effective bridge that opens up a bit. The middle of the song falls out of synch with itself a bit, but by the end the driving force is back seen through another searing guitar solo.
“Resurrection” is another great instrumental that includes some Andy Summers-esque guitar patterns that sound synth-like as well as some percussion samples throughout. The B-section of the song is based around more of punk-rock guitar tone and riff and contrasts nicely with the first part. After a short but exciting drum solo, the song builds back up combining various features of the song into Townshend-like swirl of melodies. It works as an excellent penultimate culmination.
The album closes with “Redemption” bringing back some of the Jimmy Eat World qualities to the driving heavy rock meets emotional vocal delivery parts of the song. Again, the band shows themselves adept at combining different dynamics and parts into a song from driving punk to rock opera builds. Combined with an excellent melodic use of feedback, it makes for a powerful conclusion to an exciting album.
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