One Day Savior have outdone theirselves with this release. I had no idea what to expect from this release, this being my very first exposure to The Killing Tree. After listening closely to this CD, I have fallen in love with it, and it has easily made my top ten for 2002.
One of the aspects in which The Romance of Helen Trent shines is the way in which it doesn't fall too much into any particular category. There is a blend of numerous musical elements at work here, which in the past I've found doesn't really work to well. Here, however, it's absolutely captivating. It's a little bit of rock, a little bit of hardcore, a little bit of emo-rock, a little bit of dirty punk, a little bit of acoustic work thrown in, and all energy. You can't help but feel a rush of adrenaline when you listen to this CD, and you can tell that these guys play with all the energy they have, even if you've never seen them live (which I''m convinced is a phenomenal event to behold). The rhythm is a fast paced one, which sets the stage for some great breakdowns. It's not your run of the mill "chugga chugga" variety though. The guitars are very clean and fresh, and the transitions are not awkward in the slightest. For an example of these numerous elements at work, check out the seventh track, "The Perfect," one of my favorite tracks on the CD.
The vocals have as much variety as the music. According to my sources, three of the four people in this band handle the vocals, but they all sound like one person, which helps them to be much more enjoyable. On the majority of the CD, the vocals are screamed, but not so much that you need the cover jacket to understand the lyrics. They are also, at times, spoken as if someone were reading free-verse poetry, and at other points they are sung. All of these instances work well for the songs, and you see a fantastic mix of it again in "The Perfect."
The lyrics seem to deal with the ugly side of relationships between people (both romantic and friend-based). It's not the most original topic out there, granted, but the lyrics are jus so angry that it helps make the perfect backdrop for this very angry music. You definitely feel the anger, especially in the last song, "Cacophony (The Death of Affection)." This song certainly helps the CD to end with the "bang!" with which it should end. In addition to all this, there are sound samples throughout the CD that help to intensify the music.
From start to finish this is an incredible album. Fast, slow, heavy, melodic, angry and beautiful, it leaves you wanting more by the end of it. Fans of everyone from Suicide Note to The Hope Conspiracy to Dillinger Escape Plan will love this CD.
#3 - Switchblade Architect
#6 - Violets are Blue
#7 - The Perfect
#9 - Cacophony (The Death of Affection)