Phoenix Mourning - When Excuses Become Antiques (Cover Artwork)

Phoenix Mourning

Phoenix Mourning: When Excuses Become AntiquesWhen Excuses Become Antiques (2006)
Metal Blade Records

Reviewer Rating: 4
User Rating:

Contributed by: crazytoledocrazytoledo
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Phoenix Mourning's name is only fitting. The five-piece band out of Tampa, formerly known as the Calm, was born out of the ashes of several disbanding bands. Phoenix Mourning -- vocalist Jeremiah Ruff, guitarists Ahmed Smith and Stephen Bowman, bassist Marshall Gibson, and drummer Kerry DeWitt -- ha.
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Phoenix Mourning's name is only fitting. The five-piece band out of Tampa, formerly known as the Calm, was born out of the ashes of several disbanding bands. Phoenix Mourning -- vocalist Jeremiah Ruff, guitarists Ahmed Smith and Stephen Bowman, bassist Marshall Gibson, and drummer Kerry DeWitt -- have managed to craft quite an enjoyable piece of music. While a lack of originality and comparisons to labelmates As I Lay Dying are only inevitable, the Phoenix Mourning do manage to far surpass the low exceptions set for them.

The reason that When Excuses Become Antiques is better than most every other metalcore album is because of Jeremiah Ruff's strong vocal approach and emotional lyrical honesty. Ruff, who admits to listening to mainly hip-hop, showcases a refreshing black metal shriek instead of the typical cookie-cutter screaming. His layered shouting and pacing also shows a slight influence from his hip-hop tastes. When it comes to the singing, Ruff may have the best singing voice in this entire genre. He manages to showcase a lot of emotion without being whiny. On tracks like "My Future Actress" and "Waiting for the King" Ruff simply makes the song with his layered shrieks and singing, creating a surprising sense of melody infused with a chaotic base. On the later song, the pure emotional vocal delivery by Ruff while he sings "this is something you can't miss / just close your eyes and remain motionless / and I'm sorry that I always let you down / dethrone the king and remove his crown" over an acoustic guitar delivers the knockout punch that the album needed.

"Across Twenty-Six Winters" starts off the album in an appropriate manner showcasing a mix of screaming and singing that's better than a majority of the bands out there that do this. Musically, Smith and Bowman effortlessly interchange crunchy riffs with clean melodic breaks. With lyrics such as "across twenty-six winters / I died that December night and I still can't remember," Phoenix Mourning are able to craft an emotional album without being overbearing or too depressing. "Contrast" and "Niche" are each highlighted by shifty guitars that lay way to a strong vocal delivery. The opening melodic riff on "One January Morning" is pure killer and "From Afar" manages to keep it interesting while being a mainly melodic song.

While a majority of the album is top-notch, there are still some flaws. Several of the songs in the middle stick together and at times some of the songs are too long. The album clocks in at over 50 minutes and a little bit of variety in the middle would have been nice. However, the last few songs make up for it. While originality isn't too abundant here, the acoustic guitars on "Waiting for the King" and "My Future Actress" feel refreshing and the strings that appear on "Glasskiss" were a huge surprise.

When Excuses Become Antiques won't win any awards for originality or creativity. When I first saw their press photo I was about to label them off as riding the metalcore trend waves, but upon actually listening to the album, I was blown away. While it would be nice to see them change it up from time to time musically, Ruff's vocals and the clean breaks more than make up for it. A definite surprise, but one I completely enjoyed for every second.


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Parkway Drive - Killing With a SmileRoses Are Red - What Became of MeBetween the Buried and Me - The Anatomy OfSet Your Goals - Mutiny!Nights Like These - The FaithlessSinking Ships - DisconnectingGatsbys American Dream - Gatsbys American DreamA Change of Pace - Prepare the MassesLatterman - ...We Are Still AliveAlexisonfire - Crisis

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
AndrewG (December 18, 2007)

Just found out this band sucks and is already completely forgotten. Score is for them.

AndrewG (December 18, 2007)

Just found out dude's wife is a pornstar. score is for her

contrast87 (March 6, 2007)

top 5 fav for me

SilentStorms (December 28, 2006)

Everyone just needs to RELAX. This review doesn't make me want to listen to the album, but I'm not gonna hate crazy for it. Chilllllllllllll.

kenada (December 28, 2006)

The only good thing about this album is that on itunes 'converge - when forever comes crashing down' is straight after it. turns out it's really quite good. pff. thanks phoenix mourning! tits

TrailorParkThrash (December 28, 2006)

metal? this ain't metal!and their isn't really anything wrong genre of metalcore,it's just bands like this that give it a bad name

feeeding5000 (December 27, 2006)

Crazytoledo - please, for the love of god, stop this insanity. We get it, you like metal and metalcore. What does any of that have to do with punk? I know, you'll say that my crust reviews are irrelevant, but dammit, at least those bands are based in punk, and the "punk mindset". Everything you like is just a bunch of well-dressed 20-somethings with flippy hair playing metal and jumping on a big moneymaking trend. And, you insist on reviewing every Victory release, even though we all know that you hate Victory for some reason. C'mon, they're trendhoppers, just like you. Give me a motherfucking break.

Anonymous (December 26, 2006)

What is it with metalcore bands and super random, wannabe "deep" band names and album titles?

Ianw (December 26, 2006)

What the fuck metal blade, you used to be brutal. Now this?

Anonymous (December 26, 2006)

this band is made of some of the worst people out there...the singer jerry has 3 fucking kids that he doesnt even take care of...he got his ex completly drunk and got her to sign away his rights to paying child support to his new born boy (born eariler this year)...he hasnt worked in years and has always mooched off of either people....just saying....ahmed and kerry though are stand up dudes

Anonymous (December 26, 2006)

for some reason the band's name just makes me think of an afi song title

Anonymous (December 26, 2006)

This might be the worst review Iā??ve ever read. Reading this makes me want to drink shots of liquid nitrogen.

Note* Please take a few more English courses before you graduate, and take them seriously. You write like my 10-year-old sister.

Laurier (December 26, 2006)

This band isn't just mediocre they suck.

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