The Crimson - Portrait Killed The Artist (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

The Crimson

Portrait Killed The Artist (2005)

Barely Breathing

With a name like the Crimson, it's not easy to keep an open mind before listening. Such words come to mind as: death, blood, murder, kill -- you know, all of today's popular, "kewl" themes. But on the contrary, all assumptions are wiped away the moment Portrait Killed The Artist plays.

A seemingly hardcore, borderline metalcore album without melodic vocal interludes? There's a shock. The absence of melodic vocals continues until halfway through the record's third track, "Wake Up Joan Rivers, The 60's Are Over." Despite the brief but still unpleasant melodic vocal interlude, the Crimson continue with a solid, cleanly produced sound.

Another cliché of metalcore? Sound clips. Yes, the Crimson feature a few sound clips, but not to the point where one just might watch a handful of movies and get the same effect as the CD*. "Red Light Nightmares" is something you need to hear to understand why I enjoy it so much.

Portrait Killed The Artist continues its unique flare with the final track, "Closure & Solace," in which the sound soley consists of an old fashioned-sounding piano recorded on vinyl. Mikey Ruiz, front man of the Crimson, has noted, "We don't try to stick to any genre...," and while very few bands probably try sticking to one genre, the Crimson do a good job of not being tied down to one label. This Orange County band is definitely something to keep an eye on in the future.

* - Writer does, in fact, enjoy noted band.

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